Tory bounce thanks to Ruth Davidson is over, declares jubilant Sarwar

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The leader of Scottish Labour has declared “the Ruth Davidson project is dead”, as his party celebrated gains in Glasgow City Council.

On a day which saw Conservative losses up and down the UK in local government elections, Anas Sarwar added that “the nasty Tories are back”, following previous Conservative success under former leader Ms Davidson.

“It’s been almost a decade and it’s the first time we’ve had a cheerful day for the Scottish Labour party,” he said.

Anas Sarwar
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar celebrates with candidates at the Glasgow City Council count (Jane Barlow/PA)

“It’s a good day, we’ve made good progress. I think by the end of the day we will be in a good second both in terms of vote share and in terms of seats.”

He added that there must be a coalition built in time for the next general election in order to “boot Boris Johnson out” of Downing Street – a vote which he said will be “Boris versus Britain”.

Mr Sarwar added: “For well over a decade now, we’ve had a politics in Scotland where there’s been one dominant party, and there’s been a Labour party that’s been not on the pitch, not been willing to compete, and a Conservative party whose limited ambition has been to come in second place.”

He said the gains Labour has seen in Scotland’s largest city “demonstrates that over the last five years, the administration in Glasgow has neglected the city of Glasgow”.

Local government elections
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar with candidate Sharon Greer at the Glasgow City Council count (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Sarwar hailed his party for having made progress in the run-up to and following the Scottish Parliament election in 2021, and said he will seek to continue that momentum in a bid to gain more Scottish seats at Westminster.

He said the party has “proactively made an effort to change the tone” of its politics in Scotland, adding there will be “less of the division, less of the us versus them, less of the shouting down, ‘who truly loves our country, who truly doesn’t'” going forward.

“We’re all Scottish, we all love Scotland, we all want what’s best for Scotland,” he said.

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