• Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Anas Sarwar backs England-based candidates for Scottish Labour

Sarwar said, ‘I gave what I thought to be a correct answer, it has proven not to be the case.’ (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has defended the party’s decision to select candidates residing in England for upcoming elections in Scotland.

Sarwar said that while these candidates are based in London and Kent, their affinity for Scotland is what matters most, reported The Times.

The candidates in question include Melanie Ward, Elizabeth Carr-Ellis, and Eva Kestner. Melanie Ward, currently the chief executive of Medical Aid for Palestinians, resides in London and will be contesting the Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath seat.

Elizabeth Carr-Ellis, a Kent-based councillor originally from Tyneside, has been selected for the Angus & Perthshire Glens constituency. Eva Kestner, a London councillor and graduate of Stirling University, will be running in the Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross constituency.

Sarwar defended the selection of Melanie Ward, describing her as a “phenomenal candidate” who dedicates herself to humanitarian efforts, particularly in providing aid to the Gaza Strip, the newspaper reported. He stressed the importance of candidates who have connections and a passion for serving Scotland.

Last week, Ellie Reeves, Labour’s deputy campaign co-ordinator, acknowledged the need to rebuild trust with Muslim voters following backlash during England’s local elections. The selection of Melanie Ward is seen by some as a response to criticism faced by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer regarding the party’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

During a speech at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament’s first session, Sarwar criticised the SNP, accusing them of being “arrogant” and “drunk on power”, The Times reported. He outlined Labour’s vision for prioritising cooperation and ensuring Scottish representation in Westminster.

Sarwar also commented on the shift in the SNP’s stance under John Swinney’s leadership, suggesting a move towards the right. He highlighted Labour’s commitment to governance that places Scotland at the forefront.

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