Labour figures say Richard Leonard is best to lead Scottish Labour

Over one hundred Labour movement figures have published an open letter explaining their support for Richard Leonard to be the next leader of the Scottish Labour Party, indicating wide backing from all quarters of the party and reaching into a broad range of opinion. The letter, from Scottish Labour and trade union figures - and with support from the wider movement – underlines the impetus that has allowed Richard Leonard to set the terms of a new debate about Scottish Labour’s future. 

They argue:

“Richard Leonard is the best candidate for Scottish Labour leader: he stands for transforming a society and economy that currently produces so much poverty and inequality, not simply managing the present system in a better way.”

Signatories include councillors, present and former MPs and MSPs, trade union leaders at both a Scottish and UK level, supporters on key Labour bodies including the SEC and NEC, and writers, academics and campaigners.  


Open letter – in support of Richard Leonard for Scottish Labour leader

Scottish Labour advanced at the general election after years of going backwards, but much more needs to be done. This is why Richard Leonard’s election as Scottish Labour leader would be so welcome. 

Richard Leonard is the best candidate for Scottish Labour leader: he stands for transforming a society and economy that currently produces so much poverty and inequality, not simply managing the present system in a better way.

Richard Leonard will lead change for Scottish Labour so that Scottish Labour can change the country for the better. His consistent, authentic, principled and credible record makes him the best voice for Labour’s manifesto message ‘for the many, not the few'. 

Richard has shown with his policy platform that he has the ideas to help us win again, while the June General Election showed us that an authentic and consistent leader is what the electorate wants. Both in terms of our principles, and our hard-headed electoral calculation, Richard is undoubtedly the best choice to lead Labour in Scotland.

As the nominations have shown, Richard’s breadth of experience has won the confidence of the overwhelming majority of the constituency parties and the wider trade union movement. 

Only Richard Leonard’s election as Scottish Labour leader will ensure we have the credibility to recover and win again in Scotland.


Danielle Rowley MP

Monica Lennon MSP

Claudia Beamish MSP

Neil Findlay MSP

Rhoda Grant MSP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Ged Killen MP

Elaine  Smith MSP

Paul Sweeney MP

Cathy Jamieson, former MP – deputy leader of Scottish Labour 2000-2008

Pat Rafferty, Unite the Union, Scottish Secretary

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary

Gordon McKay, UNISON Vice-President, Chair UNISON Labour Link Scotland

Dave Watson, UNISON, Scottish Organiser

Stewart Forrest, USDAW, Divisional Officer, Scotland

Karen Whitefield, USDAW, Training Officer, Scotland & former MSP

Liz Warren-Corney, TSSA, Scotland Organiser

Stevie Lawrence, TSSA, Executive Committee Member - Scotland

Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF Scotland Organiser

Lynn Henderson, trade unionist

Chris McLaughlin, Editor, Tribune

Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary

Len McCuskey, Unite the Union General Secretary

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary

John Hannett, USDAW General Secretary

Mark Serwotka, trade unionist

Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary

Ronnie Draper, BFAWU General Secretary

Ian Hodson, BFAWU President

Councillor Joe Cullinane

Councillor Brian Gordon

Councillor Robert Bissett

Councillor Gerry Convery

Councillor Allyson Black        

Councillor Margaret Brisley

Councillor Robert Burrows

Councillor Bill Butler

Councillor Angela Campbell

Councillor Harry Cartmill

Councillor Gail Casey

Councillor Dave Clark

Councillor Joan Coombes

Councillor Georgia Cruickshank

Councillor Eddie Devine         

Councillor Margaret Richardson       

Councillor Jim Reddin

Councillor Jim Sheridan         

Councillor Bill Shields 

Councillor Kenneth Stevenson           

Councillor Derek Stewart

Grahame Morris MP, Easington

Ian Mearns MP, Gateshead

Rhea Wolfson, Labour Party NEC Member

Claudia Webbe, Labour Party NEC Member

David Watt, Socialist Educational Association Scotland

Chris Barbour, Scottish Young Labour Secretary

Leah Franchetti, Glasgow Labour Party member

Michael Connarty, former MP

Laura Pidcock MP, North West Durham

Dan Carden MP, Liverpool Walton

Owen Jones, author and campaigner

Gavin Strang, Former MP and minister

Fran Boait, Director of Positive Money

Matt Zarb-Cousin, former spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn

Councillor Kenneth Earle

Councillor Angela Feeney

Councillor Robert Foster        

Councillor Danny Gibson        

Councillor Judy Hamilton       

Councillor Jim Harte  

Councillor Karen Kennedy      

Councillor Matt Kerr  

Councillor Danny Lennie        

Councillor Mary Lockhart      

Councillor Martin McCulloch 

Councillor Andrew McGuire  

Councillor Dom McGuire       

Councillor George McIrvine

Nancy  Platts, former trade union adviser to Jeremy Corbyn

Abi Wilkinson, Journalist

Billy Hayes, Labour Party CAC member

Fahd Ali Asif, Dundee new Scottish Labour Party Member

Cara Hilton, Former MSP, SEC member

Ann Henderson, SEC member

Siobhan McCready, SEC member

Lesley Brennan, SEC member and Vice Chair of CfS

Marlyn Glen, Former MSP

Prof. Christine Cooper, Strathclyde University, Professor of Accounting and Finance

Sam Tarry, President, CLASS

Stephen Wright, Musicians Union member

Maya Goodfellow, Writer

Hugh Henry, Former MSP      

Councillor Davie McLachlan  

Councillor Alexander  McVey

Councillor Kathleen Martin   

Councillor George Matchett  

Councillor John Mooney        

Councillor Jim Montgomerie 

Councillor Gordon Munro      

Councillor Alan Nimmo          

Councillor Lawrence O'Neill  

Councillor Pat O'Rourke        

Councillor Ross Paterson       

Councillor Clare Quigley        

Dr Eric Shaw, University of Stirling, Honorary Research Fellow

Helen McFarlane, Scottish Labour Candidate 2017

Nathaniel Blondel, Chair, Glasgow Univerity Labour Club

Kate Shaw Nelson, Chair of Scottish Labour Students and Glasgow Kelvin CLP

Louis King, Co-Chair, Scottish Labour Young Socialists

Harry Lesley-Smith, Author and activist for the welfare state

Alan Cummings, Secretary, Durham miners

Councillor Elaine Murray, Former MSP

Seema Chandwani, Labour CAC member 

Mark Millar, Writer


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Promoted by Danielle Rowley on behalf of Richard Leonard, both at 180 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UE