Militant successor backs Leonard for Labour leadership

Richard Leonard is the "Corbynista" candidate for the Labour leadership
Richard Leonard is the "Corbynista" candidate for the Labour leadership
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The battle for the Labour leadership in Scotland has been marked by more infighting after it emerged the successor to Militant Tendency is backing Corbynista candidate Richard Leonard.

The Socialist Party Scotland, which refers to itself as “formerly Militant”, said unity with “Blairites” like Anas Sarwar is not possible and also supports a second independence referendum.

The hard left Militant group, known as Militant Tendency, was at the heart of 1980s Labour infighting, with key figures like Derek Hatton in Liverpool.

A source in the Anas Sarwar campaign said: “Militant tore the Labour Party apart and at its peak we were never further away from power. It has no interest in uniting the Labour Party so that we can be in government in both Edinburgh and Westminster.”

However, the Leonard campaign insisted the leadership will be decided by “Labour Party members only”.

“That is what we are concentrating our efforts on,” a spokeswoman said.

“Richard is winning over hearts and minds across the breadth of Scotland, with 42 local Labour parties nominating Richard compared to Anas’s 16.”

All but one of the main unions are backing Mr Leonard, but most MSPs back Mr Sarwar.