Con­stituency to back Leonard

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - John Row­botham

Stir­ling Con­stituency Labour Party is back­ing Richard Leonard in the Scot­tish Lead­er­ship elec­tion.

Sec­re­tary Jen­nifer Pre­ston con­firmed mem­bers had held a “lively and friendly de­bate” over whether Mr Leonard or ri­val Anas Sar­war should suc­ceed Kezia Dug­dale at the helm of the party north of the bor­der.

Re­sults of the poll are due to be an­nounced in Glas­gow on Satur­day . All In­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the Labour Party have a vote in the poll.

Ms Pre­ston added: “We voted to lend our sup­port to Richard Leonard but no mat­ter the re­sult at the week­end, Scot­land works best when Labour is in the driv­ing seat and in Richard Leonard and Anas Sar­war, the Scot­tish Labour Party has two strong con­tenders to take us back into power at Holy­rood and to take on the Tories and their hugely dam­ag­ing aus­ter­ity agenda.”

Three of Stir­ling’s four Labour coun­cil­lors – Chris Kane, Danny Gib­son and Mar­garet Bris­ley – are back­ing Mr Leonard while their party col­league, Provost Chris­tine Simp­son has ex­pressed sup­port for Mr Sar­war.

York­shire-born Richard Leonard (55) was elected to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in May last year. Be­fore that, he was for 30 years an Or­gan­iser for the GMB trade union and rep­re­sented work­ers in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try and public ser­vices across Cen­tral Scot­land.

Mr Leonard at­tended Stir­ling Univer­sity and was for a time a res­i­dent of the city. He served as Anne McGuire’s elec­tion agent in the 1997 Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Glas­gow-born Mr Sar­war (34) has been MSP for the Glas­gow re­gion since the May last year hav­ing pre­vi­ously served as MP for Glas­gow Cen­tral from 2010 to 2015. He was Deputy Leader of the Scot­tish Labour from 2011–2014.

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