New Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard campaigns in council by-election

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Newly elected Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard is spending his first full day in the job campaigning in a council by-election.

Mr Leonard is joining Scottish Labour candidate Martin Lennon and local volunteers canvassing voters ahead of the Rutherglen council by-election on Thursday November 23.

He was announced as leader of the party on Saturday after defeating rival candidate Anas Sarwar.

On Sunday Mr Leonard met Scottish Labour parliamentarians including Mr Sarwar and former interim leader Jackie Baillie at a meeting where he set out his vision for the party.

He said: “I am delighted to have been joined by friends from across the Scottish Labour Party, united and campaigning behind Labour’s vision for real change in our society.

“In communities all over Scotland, Labour has a renewed sense of purpose – and now we have begun the campaign to return our party to government.

“And today we will be talking with voters about the things that matter to them – such as soaring rents and low wages but offering solutions rooted in Labour values, like a law to cap the cost of rising rents and promoting a real living wage.”

The left winger became the fourth person to hold the post in the last three years after defeating Mr Sarwar.

Mr Leonard, who only became an MSP last year, was the choice of 12,469 party members and supporters while 9,516 backed Mr Sarwar.

He said: “Only Labour in Scotland and across the UK will deliver a radical government that works for the many, not the few.”

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