SCOTTISH Labour’s outgoing interim leader Anas Sarwar has said the party “stopped being a movement for change” as he admitted it came to be seen as a defender of the status quo during the referendum campaign.
Mr Sarwar made the admission as the voting deadline closes in Scottish Labour’s leadership and deputy leadership election today.
The Glasgow Central MP stepped down from his deputy leadership role in Scottish Labour shortly after Johann Lamont quit as leader.
However, Mr Sarwar, who will serve in the interim leadership role until Scottish Labour elects a new leader on Saturday, said the party “fell into a trap of being defenders of the past and defenders of the establishment”.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
He said: “During the referendum campaign, too often our arguments on the doorsteps or in television studios became not about the rights and wrongs of independence, but the rights and wrongs of the Labour Party.
“We were basing much of the case on monuments to past achievements. They were all things we value today but all were delivered beyond most people’s memories.
“We had stopped being a movement for change and fell into a trap of being defenders of the past and defenders of the establishment.
“That was wrong.
“We are not the party of the establishment, we should want to break the establishment.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS