Anas Sarvar, a 37-year-old former dentist and member of the Scottish Parliament, is opening his kiosk today to become the next Labor leader in Scotland, as he says equality, not independence, should be high on the political agenda.
Sarvar missed the lead four years ago to Richard Leonard, who stepped down last week after failing to challenge the SNP as the dominant force in Scottish politics.
Writing online in Observer, the son of former Glasgow Labor MP Mohammad Sarwar and an early leader, says his job is to “rebuild” Labor north of the border following recent electoral humiliations. He finished fifth in the 2019 European elections and fourth in the general election later that year for most seats won.
Another likely candidate is fellow MP Monica Lennon, Labor spokesman for Holyrood. Labor sources say that with the Holyrood election campaigns due to begin in March in May, they hope to change the leader by the end of February.
Sarvar says that internal arguments must be replaced by a sense of common purpose. “Over the past few years, I have received a new perspective on our politics and realized that what we are arguing about means little to people’s lives. We spend too much time highlighting our differences instead of focusing on what unites us. ”
He says life cannot change after Covid-19, and that the focus should be on promoting equality in society, not on Scotland’s exit from the union.
“I firmly believe that we will not be able to return to society as it was before the pandemic – precarious jobs, devastated public services, underfunded health care and constant attention to another independence referendum when we have much more important issues to solve. with.”
He adds: “Scottish Labor will be able to compete again if we offer a positive alternative – a plan to heal our wounds, reunite our people and rebuild our country.”
He cites his personal experiences growing up in Glasgow and dealing with racism, and says they taught him to talk about the need to speak openly and act against prejudice.
“Speaking out against the racism I faced was the hardest thing I have done in politics. As a result, my family received death threats. But I used this experience to spend time in our communities, working on what brings us together and bringing people together – I listened and learned.
“I want to bring the same approach to our labor movement so that we can rebuild our party and rebuild our country.”
Leonard resigned last Thursday, plunging Labor into chaos just months before a decisive election in Scotland, which the SNP hopes will show increased support for independence, is due.
In a statement, Leonard, who was on the left of the party and an ally of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, said that after failing to re-establish the Labor Party as a threat to the SNP, he “concluded that it was in the interests of the party. party “to step aside.