It’s the final day of voting in the Scottish Labour Party’s leadership contest on Friday, with Anas Sarwar and Monica Lennon both hoping to succeed Richard Leonard.
Glasgow MSP Sarwar says he wants people to know he’s a politician “who seeks to unite us, not divide us”.
“I want to see what we have in common rather than what our differences are, and I’ve demonstrated that in my campaigning around challenging prejudice and hate.”
Mr Sarwar has been the deputy leader of the party before, and twice run to be the leader and says those campaigns were “eye-opening”.
“All of the things we think matter to us or consume us in the political bubble actually, in the grand scheme of things, matter very little to people out there in the wider population,” he says.
The Labour Party has struggled to break through to voters in Scotland over the last several election cycles with just one MP in Westminster, and falling to third place in the last Holyrood elections behind the SNP and Conservatives.
Anas Sarwar says that if the party wants to win elections in Scotland it requires “an honesty about where we currently are” with a focus on the future of the country rather than the past.
Mr Sarwar says that politics in Scotland, especially online, can be a toxic environment for both women and people of minority backgrounds and that the campaigns he and Ms Lennon have run demonstrate “the best of the Labour movement”.
“I admire Monica’s energy, I admire her tenacity, I admire her principled campaigning for what she believes,” Mr Sarwar said of his opponent.
Ballots opened earlier in February, and Scottish Labour Party members and those affiliated through a union have until Friday to cast their vote, with the winner announced on Saturday at lunchtime.