Who is Monica Lennon? The MSP set to take on Anas Sarwar in Scottish Labour leadership contest

Monica Lennon is aiming to succeed Richard Leonard as leader of the Scottish Labour party

Monica Lennon will face Anas Sarwar in the upcoming Labour leadership contest (Getty Images)

Anas Sarwar will face a contest for the role of Scottish Labour leader following the departure of Richard Leonard.

Monica Lennon confirmed her bid to succeed Richard Leonard on Sunday night.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Ms Lennon said: “Following extensive discussions with party members, I have decided to put my name forward to lead the Scottish Labour Party.

“This is an important time for our country and it is vital that Scottish Labour continues to play a positive and constructive role during the pandemic response.

“The Scottish Parliament election will be a key moment in our democracy, when we decide what a Covid-19 recovery should look like.

“Scottish Labour Party members deserve to have their say about the best way to take forward our vision for a fairer and more equal Scotland.”

Who is Monica Lennon?

Monica Lennon was elected as a Member of Scottish Parliament for Central Scotland in 2016.

Born and bred in Blantyre, Monica is a former pupil of St Blane’s Primary, St John Ogilvie High School and a graduate of the University of Strathclyde. Prior to becoming an MSP Lennon worked as a town planner and worked in local and central government and the private sector.

Following her election as an MSP in 2016, Lennon was elected as the Depute Convenor of the Local Government and Communities Committee, tasked with overlooking and scrutinising new planning legislation from the Scottish Government.

Lennon campaigned to make Scotland the first country in the world to make access to sanitary products free, inrdoucing a bill in 2020 which was passed in November.

She was voted ‘New MSP of the Year’ for 2017/2018.

When is the Labour leadership contest?

Under the timetable already set out by the party, voting in the leadership contest will open on Tuesday, February 9, and run till Friday, February 26, with the winner announced at a special online event on Saturday, February 27.

Monica Lennon will face Anas Sarwar claimed he has the support of more than a quarter of the party’s councillors.

Within 24 hours of announcing he would stand, the Glasgow MSP said he had the support of 66 Labour councillors.