Voting closes in Scottish Labour contest as Leonard and Sarwar thank members


The two candidates in the race for the Scottish Labour leadership today thanked party members after voting closed.

The ballot finished at 12pm after a week of turmoil which saw the acting leader quit over claims of bullying toward a former partner.

Members have been choosing between Richard Leonard or Anas Sarwar to replace Kezia Dugdale, who resigned suddenly this summer.

Leonard, a former GMB organiser, is the favourite. Today he thanks members for taking part in the vote and said his bid for the top job had been an “energetic campaign which has reached out to young people, to lost Labour voters and has reinvigorated those people who have stuck with us through thick and thin”.

He added: “Keep the faith”.

Sarwar, who won backing from a series of Westminster MPs who see him as a bulwark against Jeremy Corbyn, wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped on this amazing journey. You make our party better with your hard work, passion & commitment.”

Jackie Baillie took over as interim leader after the resignation of Alex Rowley amid claims he had sent abusive messages to a former partner. Rowley quit as interim and deputy leader but denied the allegations and vowed to clear his name.

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