Edinburgh can play 'key role' in Labour election victory Anas Sarwar says

Anas Sarwar with Labour MSP Sarah Boyack (left) and Edinburgh Westminster candidates Chris Murray and Tracy Gilbert (right)
-Credit: (Image: LDRS)


Anas Sarwar has said Edinburgh voters can play a "key role" in delivering a Labour government at the upcoming general election.

On a campaign stop in the Edinburgh East constituency - a target seat for his party - the Scottish Labour leader said there would be "no hint of complacency" in efforts to earn the trust of voters in the capital over the next five weeks ahead of polls opening on July 4.

Mr Sarwar rallied activists on Craigmillar High Street before visiting local social enterprise the Greenhouse Pantry on Thursday, May 30.

READ NEXT- Edinburgh teen's leg ache on way home led to devastating double diagnosis

READ NEXT- Edinburgh man 'assaulted by youths' as duo 'blast him with water pistol'

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: "I think what people in Edinburgh can see is that this is a changed Labour party, a Labour party that is ready to deliver for the people of Scotland again.

"I think they can see now that by voting Scottish Labour, they can get rid of the Tories, maximise Scotland's influence and to vote for the change our country needs.

"We have fantastic candidates in Edinburgh; Edinburgh can play a key role in delivering that UK Labour government. That's something Ian Murray has done as a lone voice for a very, very long time but I say we can have even more Ian Murrays from Edinburgh going to Westminster. Not sitting in opposition, not just shouting, not just protesting - but actually sitting in government and helping to make decisions and delivering for the Scottish people."

He added: "Our feet are firmly on the ground. There is no hint of complacency over the next five weeks with hard work, humility and energy we will seek to earn people's trust, earn their support in Edinburgh and across the country to try and deliver the change our country needs."

Asked whether a Labour government at Westminster or Holyrood would make funding available for cash-strapped infrastructure projects, namely a new north-south tram line which the Scottish Government recently said it can't afford to help pay for, Mr Sarwar said: "I think we've got to understand a lot of these issues are completely devolved.

"Transport is completely devolved to the Scottish Parliament and what I would not want to do is try and pretend that every problem Scotland faces can be fixed by purely electing a Labour government. But my goodness can it create the conditions to try and deliver that change.

"And so we want to use the weight of a UK Treasury to help make sure there is strategic investments here in Scotland, we want to make sure we have voices from Edinburgh right across Scotland in government helping to help make decisions that benefit people here in Scotland.

"But we need an integrated, joined-up plan which we currently do not have from this SNP government, they've decimated the budgets of local councils, they have no strategic plan around delivering economic growth and they show this bit part approach to our public transport system which is not working for the country and we want to change that."

Looking ahead to the 2026 Holyrood election, the Scottish Labour leader said he was hopeful of victory and would be "seeking to form a minority Labour government".

He added: "On individual issues we will look to work with individual parties or individual politicians to deliver that programme for change."

Ian Murray is running for the Edinburgh South seat, where other candidates so far announced are:

  • Simita Kumar- Scottish National Party

  • Christopher Cowdy - Conservatives

  • Andy Williamson - Liberal Democrats

  • Jo Phillips - Scottish Greens

  • Cameron Smith - Reform UK

The candidates who have already declared they are running in the Edinburgh East and Murrselburgh seat are:

  • Tommy Shepherd - Scottish National Party

  • Chris Murray - Scottish Labour

  • Charles Dundas - Liberal Democrats

  • Amanda Grimm - Scottish Greens

  • Derek Winton - Reform UK