Scottish Labour hopefuls vow to make independent decisions

Anas Sarwar and Monica Lennon both say they will make decisions independent of UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Scottish Labour hopefuls vow to make independent decisions Getty ImagesGetty Images

The two Scottish Labour leadership hopefuls have vowed they will make decisions independent of the UK party.

Monica Lennon and Anas Sarwar put their names forward for the position following the surprise resignation of Richard Leonard last week.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, they both said their focus would be on rebuilding the country by making decisions independent of Sir Keir Starmer.

Lennon said: “My priority is Scotland and Scottish Labour’s role in reforming Scotland and making Scotland a fairer country.

“I’m not obsessed about party structure but do think the party needs reform.

“We are going through a pandemic, the country is in turmoil and we have got a job to do across the Labour and trade union movement.

“Ultimately, this is a job that I’m applying for in Scotland, to lead the Scottish Labour Party.”

Sarwar said: “I will respect Keir Starmer, I will support Keir Starmer in helping him to become prime minister across the UK, but I will be my own person and I will do what is right for Scotland, and I will not be afraid to tell him and my colleagues in Westminster when I think they are getting it wrong.

“I will always put Scotland first.”

Both candidates reiterated their opposition to a second independence referendum in the near future, saying they would rather focus on rebuilding the country after the coronavirus outbreak.

Lennon has previously said she is not opposed to another ballot, telling the broadcaster on Tuesday: “I’m not against democracy.”