The left-wing candidate to be the next Scottish Labour leader received a major boost today when he won the backing of trade union Unite.
Richard Leonard, who is thought to have the support of Jeremy Corbyn’s aides, was hailed by Scotland’s largest union as the person who could provide “real socialist change”.
Leonard is a former trade union organiser who worked for GMB for many years. Earlier today he won the support of rail union Aslef.
Last night Unite Scotland’s executive committee decided “overwhelmingly” to endorse him over Anas Sarwar. They praised him as a genuine radical who could renationalise the railways and Royal Mail.
“This election is not simply about who will be the next leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. It is actually about the future of the Labour Party here,” said Unite Scotland secretary Pat Rafferty.
“We believe that across the UK Labour now has a political agenda for radical change. We need a leader in Scotland to match that commitment to real socialist change. We believe that Richard Leonard is the candidate with the experience and commitment to deliver that.”
Unite Scotland has been a strong backer of Corbyn over the last two years.
Read LabourList tonight for full coverage of the Scottish Labour leadership hustings in Glasgow.