Sarwar: Leaders’ forum could get Labour back into power

Scottish Labour party leader Anas Sarwar unveils plans to set up forum of the party's leading politicians from across the UK.

Sarwar: Leaders’ forum could get Labour back into power Getty Images

Plans to set up a new forum of leading Labour politicians from across the UK have been unveiled by the party’s leader in Scotland.

Anas Sarwar is calling for a Labour Leaders’ Forum to be set up – with quarterly meetings to be held bringing together senior figures within the party from all across the country.

The new group, if established, would include UK leader Sir Keir Starmer, as well as Sarwar and Welsh Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, and each of their deputy leaders.

In addition it would bring together regional mayors, such as Sadiq Khan from London and Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Mayor.

Setting up such a forum would be an “opportunity to strengthen our party”, Sarwar said, adding that it could help Labour back into power at Westminster.

Meetings would be held in different parts of the country and with a by-election due to take place in Batley and Spen – where Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox is fighting the seat for Labour – Sarwar suggested the first meeting could be hosted by the newly elected West Yorkshire mayor, Tracy Brabin.

This would then allow for Labour leaders from across the country to campaign in the area ahead of the July 1 ballot.

Sarwar has set out details of his plans in a letter to the forum’s proposed members.

And he insisted setting up such a group would show Labour’s commitment to “rejecting divisive nationalism and Tory ideology that wants to pull communities apart”.

Stressing Labour’s belief in “solidarity between every community in the UK” Mr Sarwar added: “People in Sheffield have the same aspirations for their families as those in Glasgow, Swansea or London, and we want every part of our country to be the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in.

“So by coming together we can learn from Mark Drakeford on how Welsh Labour delivered that sensational result to keep us in power in Cardiff Bay.

“We can learn from Andy Burnham’s bid to end rough sleeping on the streets of Manchester. We can learn from Sadiq Khan on how to bring our diverse communities together.

“And we can learn how Labour is transforming towns and cities in places such as Preston.”

The Scottish Labour leader said: “I believe this forum is an opportunity to strengthen our party, which in turn will strengthen the bonds of the United Kingdom and help deliver a Labour Government led by Keir Starmer that will transform every community in the UK.”

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