Richard Leonard is Scottish Labour leader; now Labour can retake Scotland

The victor: Richard Leonard.

What a relief to have a supporter of traditional Labour values at the head of the Scottish party after the leadership election put Richard Leonard in charge!

The result should set Labour on a path to regain the popularity it has lost to the SNP in recent years, as it marks a change in direction away from the right-wing policies that have proven so unpopular with Scottish voters.

And it means that support for Jeremy Corbyn on Labour’s National Executive Committee has increased, giving him a firm majority.

You can hear a little of what Mr Leonard is all about in this video:

Opponents in the SNP and the Scottish Tories – and even in the Labour Party itself – will talk him down.

But they talked down Jeremy Corbyn and it is now only a matter of time until he becomes the UK’s prime minister.

Richard Leonard has won the race for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party.

The MSP and former GMB organiser won out over Anas Sarwar today at the end of a turbulent week for the party.

Leonard, who was thought to have the backing of key aides to Jeremy Corbyn, picked up 56.7 per cent of the vote ahead of the 43.3 per cent achieved by Sarwar.

Leonard today demanded “real change, energised with this new generation helping to lead it”.

“But founded on our old and enduring idealism too”, he said.

“That is the unity we can rally around, not simply a call for unity but around a renewed unity of purpose.

“And our shared purpose is clear, to build again, to win again.

“So that our purpose today is not just [to have] elected a leader. My aim is to be the next Labour First Minister of Scotland.”

The leadership race was prompted by the surprise resignation of Kezia Dugdale this summer.

Source: Corbynista candidate Richard Leonard triumphs in Scottish Labour leadership contest | LabourList

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12 thoughts on “Richard Leonard is Scottish Labour leader; now Labour can retake Scotland

  1. Toni

    He will not make much of an impact in Scotland. Some of the Labour faithful will support him, but he is in the same mould as the other Labour members in Scotland. As long as they refuse to deal with the SNP in government they will get nowhere. They do have similar policies and ideas, but Labours pro Union bias will not stand them in good stead with most people in Scotland. If all you are interested in is that the left-wing should be in ascendance then you should not object to the SNP, who’s policies have given the people of Scotland such a good deal over the past 10 years. Not perfect, but competent and caring.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Since you seem to be a supporter of the SNP, I think we should take your comments about Labour with a pinch of salt.

      1. Grace Ferguson

        That means we can take all labour supporters’ comments with a pinch of salt too. There is no such thing as “Scottish labour” We have british labour in Scotland , often voting against the best interests of Scotland. Labour would be better concentrating on winning voters in England over as those are the votes that count in a GE

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        “There is no such thing as Scottish Labour”, says a supporter of the SNP, with a vested interest in pushing anti-Labour propaganda.
        “Often voting against the best interests of Scotland.” Sorry, the best interests of who? Not all of Scotland would agree with you.
        If Labour had won more seats in Scotland in June, we might have a Labour government now – and a much better United Kingdom in which to live.

  2. J Edington

    I would have backed Leonard if I had been allowed my Unite vote, even if Sarwar would have been better from an independence point of view. Not that he believes in it but it would have put off the voters! Unfortunately, though, I feel Leonard may have a hard time since so many of our Labour MSPs are from the right. He got in on the member vote, as did Corbyn, but I suspect has even less backing from the party. I hope I’m wrong because we need some opposition to the party I support who are getting a bit too complacent. He certainly won’t get the same media support up here that Sarwar would have got.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We’ll see. Jeremy Corbyn had a lot of opposition from his MPs but they’ve mostly fallen in line now that he has become a proven vote-winner.
      My belief is that Labour’s MSPs will go the same way because they see which way the wind’s blowing.
      I wonder about your comment that the SNP is becoming complacent – that party lost serious numbers of MPs in June, which should have been a wake-up call.

      1. Shug McMillan

        I’m surprised no-one has commented on the article’s main proposition: that Scotland like some fiefdom needs to be ‘re-taken.’ Labour lost Scotland partly because it stood with the Tories to defend the Union. Will that change? I suspect Leonard will simply mimic Corbyn’s hypocrisy in supporting every movement towards self determination on the planet apart from Scotland and Wales where it might damage his party’s self-interest.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        People commented on this on the FB page and I answered it there: Claims about Scotland being a “fiefdom” (the commenter on FB used the word “colonialism”) are an attempt to take the discussion off on a false tangent. I simply meant that Labour now has a chance to regain the support in Scotland that it lost to the SNP.
        Labour never stood with the Tories on anything. Labour would have defended the Union no matter what the Tories did – that’s the element that people such as your good self fail to take into account. Don’t make that mistake again!
        Leonard will stand up for whatever Scottish Labour thinks is right for Scotland, and no doubt people like your good self will tell us all that he is being a hypocrite, no matter what that is. You seem to have a blind spot.

  3. Jill Phillips

    He seems to be a lovely man. From what he says on the video, I can’t see that Scotland would have much to dispute.
    What’s the difference between tackling austerity – and supporting inequality and education – in Scotland and the rest of Britain? (Given it’s appropriate education all over the UK; I speak as a music educator who well knows the value of that subject – which should be at the core of the curriculum.)

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Slanted reporting, I’m afraid.
        Labour was not voting with the Tories.
        Labour was voting in accordance with its own priorities.
        The amendment mentioned in the article was a political gimmick and would not have achieved the stated aim of keeping the UK in the customs union.
        While Labour and the Tories may both have opposed it, that does not mean they did so together, standing with each other, in league, or in any other linking language you may wish to use.
        Labour opposed it for Labour’s reasons; the Tories opposed it for reasons of their own.
        That is NOT standing with each other.
        Please do your best not to make this kind of silly schoolchild mistake again.

Comments are closed.