Labour challenge

John Birkett’s letter (3 July) conflates one controversial decision in St Andrews with the problems facing Scottish Labour, and uses that to dismisses the two leadership candidates.

Less clear is whether he can identify better ones that Labour has missed.

I went to the leadership hustings in Dundee on Monday where both candidates gave inevitably rather bland opening statements in the time allowed but revealed more of themselves in response to questions.

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Whoever wins faces an enormous uphill battle, where the SNP dictates the terms of the debate, and further electoral defeats seem likely.

In those circumstances the task is less with identifying the leader on a white horse than looking for someone who can over time grow into the role.

This will be difficult, but, if Nicola Sturgeon can do it (and very impressively in some respects) why not others?

Kezia Dugdale may be the establishment front-runner, but given that reviving Scottish Labour is going to be a lengthy process she might also be the person best able to grow into the leadership role.

Unfortunately, changing the captain is the easy bit.

John Anderson

Bruce Street

St Andrews