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Richard Leonard: Scottish Labour leader resigns with instant impact

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has resigned with instant effect, simply months before the next set of Scottish Parliament elections.

In a declaration, he said it was “not a simple choice” however the “right one for me and for the celebration”.

Mr Leonard, who had been celebration leader because 2017 and is an MSP for Central Scotland, had actually faced calls from some fellow MSPs to go.

In September, James Kelly, Daniel Johnson and Jenny Marra all required that he gave up.

At the time, Mr Leonard promised to lead the party into the next set of Holyrood elections in May.


However he has actually now taken the choice to step aside.

” I have thought long and hard over the Christmas period about what this crisis suggests, and the method Scottish Labour takes to help tackle it,” Mr Leonard explained in his resignation statement.

” I have actually also considered what the speculation about my leadership does to our capability to get Labour’s message throughout. This has actually ended up being a diversion.

” I keep my faith in the Labour Party as the party that uses hope to people which remains the only car for the realisation of that hope.”

Sir Keir Starmer stated Mr Leonard ought to feel “very proud” of his achievements as leader of Scottish Labour.

” I wish to thank Richard for his service to our celebration and his undeviating dedication to the values he believes in,” the Labour leader said.

” Richard has actually led Scottish Labour through among the most difficult and tough durations in our country’s history, including a basic election and the pandemic.

” Even from opposition, he has actually achieved a substantial amount for which he must be very happy.”

Mr Leonard’s departure suggests Scottish Labour will be looking for its fifth leader because Scottish citizens turned down self-reliance from the UK in a 2014 referendum.

Leaders from across the political divide commemorated Mr Leonard in the wake of his announcement.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Despite our political distinctions, I have actually constantly liked Richard Leonard.

” He is a good guy and I want him well for the future.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Ruth Davidson said on Twitter: “When I stepped down in August 2019, I found that political resignations are odd things, like checking out obituaries when you are still alive.

” Whatever else is written about Richard, I have to say I always found him a thoroughly good guy and a committed advocate.”

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, explained him as a “excellent man who cares deeply about his politics and his celebration”.

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