The Scotsman

Sarwar: ‘I want Scotland to be an example to the world, not just UK’

- By ALEXANDER BROWN Watch the full interview at

Anas Sarwar has called Scotland the “best country in the world”, but insisted it can be better.

Speaking to The Scotsman in the second part of our exclusive election video series, On The Holyroad, the Scottish Labour leader discussed his passion for the country and his pride at representi­ng Glasgow.

Running against Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow Southside, Mr Sarwar also revealed he still got homesick going on holiday.

He said: “I am a proud Glaswegian and a proud Scot, it’s a country that has given so much to my family.

“My grandad came here in the 1940s on a boat with nothing, settled up in Lossiemout­h, brought his own family here, fell in love with Scotland himself. We are now a third generation family in Scotland.

“I am passionate about Scotland, I love Scotland. Scotland is the greatest country in the world as far as I’m concerned, and Glasgow is the greatest city in the world.

“I was born here, brought up here, bringing my own children up here.

“No matter where I go in the world I always will consider Glasgow home. I miss Glasgow, I get homesick.”

Speaking in a dental practice, the former dentist claimed the country still had work to do.

He explained: “Scotland is a phenomenal place and so is Glasgow, but can we do better? Of course we can.

“I want everyone across Glasgow and everyone across Scotland to be able to fulfil their potential.

“I want us to be an example, not just to the UK, but to the whole world.”

Mr Sarwar, who replaced Richard Leonard as party leader in February, admitted his party was unlikely to win May’s election, but claimed more Labour MSPS would “pull” the SNP towards doing the “right thing”.

He explained: “I would love to say Labour are going to win the election, but then you would probably say I need to

be in the chair getting treatment of a different sort.

“The reality is I’ve been in the job five weeks, and I’ve said to people I want to get Labour back on the pitch. I want them to be relevant to people’s lives again and coming out of this election in a better position, and then using the course of the five years that follows to turn from better opposition to alternativ­e government.

“Scotland deserves a better government and better oppo

sition. I want us to be able to pull the government towards focusing on people priorities.”

Challenged on why the SNP was polling so well, Mr Sarwar suggested they had enjoyed weak opposition from the Scottish Tories.

He said:“we have not had a good enough opposition over the last five years, which in many ways has made life easier for the government and easier for Nicola Sturgeon.

“I want to have an opposition

that doesn’t just shout at the government… but also pulls the government towards doing the right things for the country around closing the attainment gap, catching up on our NHS, a significan­t boost for jobs and the economy, and challengin­g the climate emergency head on.”

 ??  ?? 0 Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar went on a walkabout in Govanhill last week to talk to locals and workers ahead of May’s election
0 Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar went on a walkabout in Govanhill last week to talk to locals and workers ahead of May’s election
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