Anas Sarwar ‘disappointed’ after Labour councillor cleared of making racist remark to him

A councillor accused of making a racist remark to Anas Sarwar during Scottish Labour’s bitter leadership contest two years ago has been cleared by the party’s disciplinary body.

Anas Sarwar was 'disappointed' with the outcome. Picture: John Devlin

David McLachlan, from South Lanarkshire Council, was suspended after he was identified as the councillor who told Mr Sarwar “Scotland wouldn’t vote for a brown Muslim Paki”.

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At the time he said he “categorically denied the deeply hurtful allegations”. Yesterday he was cleared by a three-member panel of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.

He said: “This has been a tremendously difficult time for my family and me and I’m delighted the NCC hearing panel has come to this conclusion. I don’t know if my family and I will ever get over the stress this has brought to all of us.”

Mr Sarwar’s accusation was made after the leadership campaign when he launched his Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia in Holyrood. 

He did not name the councillor, but party bosses later asked him to provide them with his identity.

Mr Sarwar said: “I have consistently said that this isn’t about one individual.

“This is about challenging a wider culture and we have made great strides. I’m disappointed with the process and outcome and will have more to say about it.”