Richard Leonard condemned for sacking Labour’s only ethnic minority MSP from frontbench

© PAHumza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf

The SNP’s most senior Muslim has condemned Richard Leonard for removing his only ethnic minority MSP from the Labour frontbench.

Humza Yousaf, the Justice Secretary, tore into Richard Leonard for “choosing to sack his only ethnic minority member over Twitter”.

Anas Sarwar said he learned he was being dumped as Scottish Labour’s health spokesman on Thursday, while fronting a debate for the party in Holyrood.

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Anas Sarwar.

Fellow centrist Jackie Baillie, who has been heavily critical of Labour’s failure to provide legal funds towards former Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale’s, has also been ousted from Mr Leonard’s shadow cabinet.

Mr Yousaf told SNP conference: “I disagree with Anas Sarwar on a whole load of things, but make no mistake about it, to sack one of your colleagues while they are leading a debate in the Scottish Parliament is a complete abdication of leadership and responsibility.”

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Jackie Bailiie.

Mr Sarwar, a centrist, lost to Mr Leonard, who is pro-Jeremy Corbyn, in an acrimonious leadership battle last year.

The Glasgow MSP was replaced by Monica Lennon in the health brief, while Mr Leonard personally took over the economy role from Ms Baillie, who backed Mr Sarwar in the contest.