Scotland will not be ‘drag on Labour ticket’ at next election, says Sarwar

Anas Sarwar was speaking from Labour’s party conference in Liverpool (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Anas Sarwar was speaking from Labour’s party conference in Liverpool (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said Labour in Scotland will not be a “drag” on the party’s ticket at the next election.

Labour has been in decline in Scotland over the past decade, falling to third place in Holyrood and in local authorities before their fortunes were reversed at this year’s council elections.

At Westminster, only Ian Murray represents the party north of the border.

But, speaking to the BBC from Labour’s party conference in Liverpool, Mr Sarwar predicted the party would see a resurgence in Scotland.

“I’m not going to put a number on it, but I want us to make significant gains,” he said on Good Morning Scotland on Tuesday.

“If we look at the council election results, we were in the game in around 13, 14 seats if that council election was reflected – I’m not saying we would have won 13, 14 seats, we were in the game in 13, 14 seats.

“I think in the context of a UK Government where we’re not just going to oppose the Tories, we’re going to replace them, I genuinely believe we can make significant gains.

“I think Scotland is not going to be the drag on the ticket – Scotland’s not going to be what stop us from having a UK Labour government.

“Scotland’s going to help us deliver that UK Labour government.”

Mr Sarwar, who took the reins of the party in Scotland at its lowest ebb ahead of last year’s Holyrood election, said he thought Prime Minister Liz Truss was “more dangerous” than the late former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and Boris Johnson.

“We cheered Boris Johnson going, and we rightly did, because he dishonoured the role of prime minister, but actually Liz Truss is worse than Boris Johnson,” he said.

“She is more right wing, more ideological – cutting the cap on bankers’ bonuses, giving tax cuts to the richest.

“She is re-distributing wealth, but from the poorest to the wealthiest – I actually think she’s more dangerous than Margaret Thatcher, and I think the country is going to change that.”

He added that the UK Government is the most “economically illiterate, morally bankrupt government probably in history”.