Anas Sarwar MPAnas Sarwar, Interim Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, confirmed his intention to stand down as Deputy Leader in an email to members.

 

Last night, I announced my intention to hand over the leadership to a new team on the 13th of December.

Three years ago I had the honour of being elected your Deputy Leader. Almost 75% of party members put their faith in me, but 100% of you got behind me.

I put myself forward as a young, enthusiastic, modest and shy – OK I’m pushing it a bit – 28 year old, first time parliamentarian.

That someone from my background, my faith and my colour could even consider being in this position, never mind be elected into it, without even comment of it, tells you something amazing about our Labour Party and our Scotland. It says everything about the values of opportunity and hope that we all hold.

While I will remain in post until the 13th of December as Interim Leader, I think it is right that we have a concurrent Leadership and Deputy Leadership election.

This will allow the Scottish Labour Party, its members and affiliates, the opportunity to not only elect a new leader, but a new leadership team focused on winning in 2016.

Whoever is elected can be guaranteed of my every support and effort.

Friends, it has been an honour and privilege to serve you, particularly as the party’s Referendum Co-ordinator at the heart of the biggest political campaign in our history – a campaign we must never forget we won!

More than two million Scots supported Scotland staying part of the UK. We won the referendum because of our Labour values, not despite them.

I make this promise to you – we will go forward from here emboldened. That we will come through the other side of this process more unified in purpose, more confident of our argument and stronger in will than we have ever been.

I will be playing my full part in helping to elect a Labour Government and Ed Miliband as our next Prime Minister.

Let’s start the job of changing our country.

Thank you.