Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: Leonard quits as Scottish leader ‘over Starmer’

Left-wing leader leaves ‘centrists’ to face the electoral consequences of their undermining

Richard Leonard has quit as leader of the Scottish Labour party. He said of his decision:

I have thought long and hard over the Christmas period about what this crisis means, and the approach Scottish Labour takes to help tackle it. I have also considered what the speculation about my leadership does to our ability to get Labour’s message across. This has become a distraction.

However, Labour sources close to Leonard had a one-word answer when asked what had triggered him to choose this moment to go:


It seems that after weathering months of sniping and sabotage by the Labour right, Leonard has decided that there is no prospect of anything improving in the party under its UK leadership and is leaving the Scottish Labour saboteurs to get on with it and face the consequences of their behaviour in a crisis which is certainly well beyond their abilities.

It is not yet known who, if anyone, from the left of the party might wish to grasp that nettle and stand in a leadership contest.

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  1. The rotten fruits of Starmer destroying the Labour Party. As the country suffers under the predictable Johnson tragedy which Starmer enabled, where is his conscience? Nowhere. He has none🛑🛑🛑

  2. Nick Wright’s Morning Star editorial contains this staggering statistic coupled with a sad but all too accurate observation.

    “In Scotland it took 511,838 votes to elect Labour’s single MP (and a spectacularly useless one at that) and just 25,882 votes to elect an SNP MP.”

    The Ian Murrays of this world just don’t get it: they can never be part of the solution to Labour’s disastrous performance in Scotland because they are the problem.

    1. Totally agree with Labrebisgalloise about the Ian Murrays of this world just not getting it – with Richard gone that us finished in Scotland for the foreseeable

  3. It’d have been in the party’s best interest had Leonard actually cited stammer as the reason he’s jibbed it.

    1. Because we’ll need a leader before the election it will have to be a current MSP

  4. Please not Jackie Baillie! Wish Neil Lindsay was going to continue as an MSP. Best leader we never had.

  5. Prediction: centralists will blame Brexit and Corbyn, due to residual effects of the antisemitism, for New Labour’s failures in Scotland.

    1. Exactly my thoughts too. The right will ignore the fact of all them years of taking supporters for granted while concentrating on the south

  6. Who lost Scotland, would be the opening line of attack
    Now there has been a deal with EU, it is critical Labour supports another referendum, their position should be only Scots can decide not Tories or SNP
    It is even more important Labour does not campaign, make our offer to stay, greater fiscal and welfare powers, removal of Trident but assure Scotland we will support a vote for Independece by letting Scotland keep the pound and the Royal Family
    ‘Scotland knows best’ is the strapline

    1. Would they even want the royalfamily? Surely, landing Scotland with these people would motivate it more to go for independence….

      1. I’m sure they’d be welcome at their castles as tourists paying tax like everyone else (including their own security like the runaways in California. To have a constitutional role would be as crazy as say the Partition of Ireland. Even a figure head is dangerous, remember Australia. But I think Doug is just highlighting the obvious reaction ‘never in a million years!’. We immediately recognise it is absurd.

  7. The problems my party suffer from in Scotland go far deeper than who is the leader at any one time. Its old base – heavy industry wedded to defence spending, steel, shipbuilding and coal – and all underpinned by a Unionist economic base has vanished through the creative destruction of classic capitalism (Adam Smith would have understood perfectly). A new formation has to recognise new realities and that includes acceptance of a federal UK and – important in Scotland – the need to re-engage with the EU

  8. Sir Ramsay MacStarmer’s and the Billionaires’ centrist MSP’s have got what they wanted – or what they were almost certainly scheming and manipulating to achieve.

  9. Evolve Politics have just posted a new article: Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard quits just hours after wealthy potential donors pressure Keir Starmer to remove him

  10. Evolve Politics write: According to The Times, Starmer last night held talks with potential donors – including the multi-millionaire businessman and former Labour donor Willie Haughey, as well as Robert Latham, the lawyer who gave £100k to Starmer’s leadership campaign.

    During the call, it is alleged that potential donors told Starmer and Rayner in no uncertain terms that they would not be handing over any cash to the party as long as Mr Leonard – who is widely considered to be on the left of the party and was a political ally of Jeremy Corbyn – remained in his post as leader of Scottish Labour.

    Labour have not commented as to whether Mr Leonard was pressured into resigning.

    1. Absolutely disgusting but the terrible thing is, it doesn’t surprise me in the least

  11. The Membership’s obsolete, now. Isn’t it?

    Decisions can be taken in Southside, by whomever.

    Membership fees – who needs them when we’ve got ‘donors’

    No more jamborees at Conference. Money saved. Who needs an Annual, Comradely get-together?

    We can, even close the CLP’s. Emails, to be ignored, at Southside, will suffice. Even, more money saved on rents, utilities, etc.

    Only a couple of things missing from that scenario. Canvassers, leaflet droppers and – most important of all – voters.

    I’m sure there’s more that can be added to that list, but, quite frankly, I can’t be bothered.

    1. Absolutely. They wanted a shake out and that is what they might well get – with bells on it. Self harming can always get out of hand

  12. What the “left ” don’t understand or get is that Starmers Labour does not want to win .. period .
    The RW bastards on the PLP want their snouts in the trough , with NO responsibilities as in being in power .
    Easy life on the sidelines , just lob the occasional hand grenade at the Tories tank , watch it bounce off and then back to more lucrative speaking events and lining up the revolving door jobs when needed.
    My opinion is that in May locals , Labour UK wide will be hammered , may get the odd one or two new seats , come the GE then Tories will have outmanoeuvred the block headed twat Starmer and will be re-elected even if a few of the Red Wall return , the Tories will have a handsome majority , even with a very much reduced turnout as like me many voters see no point in voting as they are now all the same .
    Which is precisely what Starmer and his Zionist controllers want

    Really is time for a new party , the biggest fear is that the dis-empowered voters will turn to a newer version of the Trump style party in the UK .. Fartage for tea anyone ?

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