Scottish Labour leader hopeful Anas Sarwar: “I’m the anti-establishment candidate”


Anas Sarwar

Sarwar was seen as the frontrunner in the race to be the next Scottish Labour leader. Then the negative headlines began.

One day, when Anas Sarwar was a boy, he left his Glasgow home to go to school and found a letter on the doorstep. “I rather stupidly picked it up and opened it,” Sarwar, now 34, recalls. “There was a picture mocked up of my mum, tied to a chair, with two guns pointed to her head, saying ‘bang bang, that’s all it takes’ in those cut out words.

“That’s quite difficult when you’re a young child, and it’s quite difficult when you have to go to the police station because they want to rule out whose fingerprints are on the letter.”

Growing up with your dad as Britain’s first Muslim MP, it seems, came at a price. As well as the letter, there were abusive phone calls, hate mail, long absences and the controversies that come with a career in politics. Yet Anas Sarwar left a career in dentistry to follow his father, Mohammed, into politics, and now wants to be the leader of Scottish Labour. Why?

“When my father finally accepted I was never going to go into politics, that’s when I probably started thinking about going into politics,” Sarwar says when I meet him in his campaign office on a sunny but stormy Glasgow morning. Then he adds a second reason: “You can try and prove the haters wrong.”

With his rolled up shirtsleeves, youth and conversational style, Sarwar seems every aspect the modern politician. His rise has been swift. Elected to his father’s old seat of Glasgow Central in 2010, he became Scottish Labour deputy leader a year later and was briefly acting leader in 2014. Then, in the devastating election of 2015, he lost his seat. …read more

Source:: New Statesman

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