Leader of Unite backs Richard Leonard for Scottish Labour leader

Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has backed Richard Leonard
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has backed Richard Leonard
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The leader of the UK’s largest union has backed left-wing MSP Richard Leonard to be the new leader of Scottish Labour.

Len McCluskey, the general secretary of the Unite trade union said that the leadership of Leonard would help “build on the foundation laid by Jeremy Corbyn”.

Anas Sarwar is the opposition to Leonard who is aiming to become the successor to Kezia Dugdale.

Coupled with the success of the General Election and the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, Mr McCluskey was quikc to back Leonard for leader.

Speaking at the Unite Scottish policy conference in Aviemore, Mr McCluksey said: “Scottish Labour needs a leader who speaks for workers.

“We have one in Richard Leonard.”

READ MORE: Richard Leonard favours basic rate income tax rise

“Who would have thought, even a few months ago, that we would be talking about Labour’s fortunes in Scotland being the key to open the door to Labour in No 10.”

He stated that there was still work to do, but stated that Mr Leonard had “something genuinely new on offer”.

He added: “Just as people warm to the honesty and decency of Jeremy Corbyn, voters in Scotland can look at Richard Leonard and say ‘he’s on my side’.”

A spokesman for the Anas Sarwar campaign said: “We know that many ordinary members of Unite and other trade unions are backing us because we’re running a positive campaign focused on radical ideas.

READ MORE: Anas Sarwar v Richard Leonard: Labour leader frontrunners profiled

“Anas is standing in this contest as the only candidate who has never, and will never, leave workers behind by voting against the Labour Party and with the Tories on Brexit.

“Nobody can credibly claim they want to protect jobs and not support membership of the single market and the customs union.

“That’s why Anas supports permanent UK membership of the European single market and the customs union.”