Sarwar: Don’t allow SNP and Tories to ‘define Englishness’

The Scottish Labour leader addressed Labour conference in Brighton.

Sarwar: Don’t allow SNP and Tories to ‘define Englishness’ YouTube

Anas Sarwar has insisted that the SNP and Conservatives should not be allowed to “define Englishness”.

The Scottish Labour leader made the remarks as he addressed the Labour party conference in Brighton.

In a speech on Monday afternoon, Sarwar also set out his desire to see Labour in power at Holyrood and at Westminster.

Outlining the challenges facing his party, he said “We hear a lot about the red wall. The first red wall to fall was Scotland and unless we rebuild there we won’t get a UK Labour Government.

“But to do that we need to present a different, more positive vision of Scotland and Britain. One that is outward looking, diverse and tolerant.”

He continued: “Don’t allow the SNP and the Tories to define Englishness. England isn’t Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and Nigel Farage. England is Marcus Rashford, Gareth Southgate and Emma Raducanu.

“And don’t believe that the political values of Scotland are those of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP – of division and grievance. The values which drive Scotland – Hope, opportunity, solidarity. Our values. Labour values.”

Sarwar said that “winning matters” as he pointed to the work of Labour leaders in power across the UK.

He told the conference: “Now of course we must oppose these two governments. But it is not enough to just oppose this Tory government, I want us to replace this Tory government.

“And it is not enough to just oppose the SNP government, I want us to replace this SNP government.

“We have heard from this stage this afternoon the difference Labour makes in power.

“Tracey Brabin, Sadiq Khan, Mark Drakeford, Andy Burnham. Labour leaders not just talking Labour values. Delivering Labour values in power. And that’s why winning matters.”

The Scottish Labour MSP also set out his party’s plans for an Energy Transition Commission ahead of the UN climate conference in Glasgow.

“In November, the eyes of the world will be on my home city of Glasgow for COP26. We want the world to see a country united in the fight against climate change,” he told Labour members.

“But as Labour, we must be clear – There is no just transition if it decimates entire communities and sacrifices tens of thousands of jobs.

“We can’t allow a repeat of the end of mining, where communities were hollowed out, workers were stripped of their dignity and our industrial base was destroyed.

“That is the path that the SNP and the Tories currently have us on. The only way to avoid that injustice is to demand a Jobs First Transition.

“That is why today I am announcing an Energy Transition Commission –  led by former energy minister Brian Wilson, to help create a greener, fairer and more prosperous future.

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