War of words on Europe
and fellow MSPs Neil Findlay and Elaine Smith voted in favour of triggering Article 50.
Findlay, who is backing Leonard to be leader, said: “I recall the debate amongst Labour MSP colleagues at the time of the Scottish Parliamentary vote on triggering Article 50.
“Anas expressed the very same reservations as I did but in the end he voted to support the SNP line which effectively ignored the referendum result.
“I thought ignoring the result of a democratic referendum was the preserve of the SNP – not the Scottish Labour Party.” Meanwhile, Leonard, the favour ite to win the leadership contest, has unveiled a raft of policies to tackle child poverty.
They include extending free school meals to include primary years four to seven, grants to help families pay for school uniforms and ending the exemption of private schools from non-domestic rates, using the money saved – around £5million a year – to pay for school trips for all. He said: “Ending child poverty is the challenge this generation must meet as our legacy to the next. Far too many of our children have their life chances diminished as a result of the economic circumstances they are born into.
“My overriding mission as both Labour leader and Labour First Minister will be to abolish poverty. Tackling poverty means looking after our most vulnerable people and there is no group of people more vulnerable than our children.
“Too many of whom are being denied the basic dignities in life that all of our people should expect.”