Springburn and Robroyston councillor Aileen McKenzie sets out why the Anas Sarwar she knows, not the caricature you might read about in tabloids, gets her backing to be the next Scottish Labour leader.


I’m a member of the RMT union, which is so left-wing it disaffiliated from the Labour Party years ago.

I’m a member of the Campaign for Socialism and Momentum in Scotland.

I am pro unilateral disarmament and supported Jeremy Corbyn before it was fashionable.

In the contest to elect the next Scottish Labour leader, I’m supporting Anas Sarwar.

I’ve known Anas for nearly seven years now. I’ve worked on numerous campaigns with him, attended events with him, I’ve cried on his shoulder and he’s helped me with my problems. I know him personally – not by reading stories in a tabloid. I know the real person, and I know that Anas is the right person to lead Scottish Labour back to power in Holyrood.

Anas is one of the most passionate and driven people I have ever met. He shows this every day by scrutinising and holding the Scottish Government to account on health. My friend who doesn’t even live in the Glasgow region says she has seen more of Anas locally regarding the closure of a children’s hospital ward than either the local MP or MSP.

I do get frustrated when I read comments that Anas isn’t the right person for the job because of his background. Doesn’t anyone remember Tony Benn?

Discriminating against someone on account of the wealthy family they were born into is as bad as discriminating against someone born into a poor family.

If you know the real Anas you will know just how deeply he cares for others, especially for those less fortunate than himself.

As a self-confessed Corbynista I was disappointed when so many prominent Labour Party members and parliamentarians, Anas included, signed a letter asking Jeremy Corbyn to resign. However, time has moved on, and so should other supporters of Jeremy.

The For The Many, Not The Few manifesto brought our party together, and Anas has embraced the direction we are moving in. To me this shows that Anas has the courage and responsibly required to lead the party in Scotland.

Anas is already setting out new, radical policies that will benefit the many not the few, and if he is elected I will be working tirelessly alongside Anas to deliver these for the people of Scotland. I hope you will do the same.