Richard Leonard (Scottish politician)

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Richard Leonard

RichardLeonardMSP.jpg
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
Assumed office
18 November 2017
DeputyLesley Laird
LeaderJeremy Corbyn
Preceded byKezia Dugdale
Scottish Labour Spokesperson for
Finance, Economy and Fair Work
Assumed office
4 October 2018
DeputyJames Kelly
ShadowingDerek Mackay
Preceded byJackie Baillie
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Central Scotland
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded bySiobhan McMahon
Personal details
Born1962 (age 55–56)
Yorkshire, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Stirling

Richard Leonard (born 1962) is a British Labour Party politician who is the current leader of the Scottish Labour Party, and Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Central Scotland region.[1] He defeated Anas Sarwar to win the 2017 Scottish Labour Party leadership election, succeeding Kezia Dugdale.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Leonard was born in 1962 in Yorkshire, England, UK.[3] He was educated at the fee-paying independent school Pocklington School, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, having received an LEA scholarship.[3][4] He studied Politics and Economics at the University of Stirling, and has lived and worked in Scotland since then as a GMB trade union and Scottish Labour party official.[5][6]

Political career[edit]

He stood as the Labour candidate for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, coming second. In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election he was elected as an additional member. Leonard supported Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 UK Labour Party leadership election.[7] The 2017 Scottish Labour leadership election was triggered by the sudden resignation of Kezia Dugdale in August. During the campaign to decide her successor, the BBC News website described Leonard as the more "left-wing" of the two candidates; Anas Sarwar was his rival.[8] However, he distanced himself from Corbyn in an October 2017 interview with the New Statesman, saying "I'm too long in the tooth to be a Corbynista".[9] On 18 November 2017, it was announced that Leonard had been elected as Scottish Labour leader, receiving 56.7% of the vote on a 62.3% turnout.[10] Only a few hours after the leadership election result was announced, Leonard said he would discuss with Labour MSPs whether Kezia Dugdale would be suspended for failing to notify the party that she was set to join the reality TV gameshow in Australia I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! for several weeks while the Scottish Parliament was still in session.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Election 2016: Central Scotland. Scottish Parliament region". BBC News. 6 May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Richard Leonard voted Scottish Labour leader". The Guardian. 18 November 2017. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b Macdonell, Hamish (5 September 2017). "Would-be Labour leader 'can't help his English past'". The Times. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  4. ^ Boothman, John; Allardyce, Jason (3 September 2017). "English row in Scots Labour race". The Times. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  5. ^ Society, People’s Printing Press (3 May 2016). "Who's who on the Scottish Labour left". Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  6. ^ "You'll never guess how many Holyrood MSPs have been privately educated". Evening Times. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  7. ^ "What we learned from the Scottish Labour leadership hustings". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Sarwar denies being 'one of the few'". BBC News. 20 September 2017. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Scottish Labour's Richard Leonard: "I'm too long in the tooth to be a Corbynista"". www.newstatesman.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Richard Leonard to lead Scottish Labour". BBC News. 18 November 2017. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  11. ^ Carrell, Severin (18 November 2017). "Richard Leonard wins Scottish Labour leadership in decisive victory". Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017 – via www.theguardian.com.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Kezia Dugdale
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
2017–present
Incumbent