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HomePoliticsScottish Labour picks left-winger as party leader

Scottish Labour picks left-winger as party leader

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Scottish Labour has chosen left-winger Richard Leonard as its new leader, the party announced on Saturday.

Leonard, a former trade union official, is an ally of U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He won 56.7 percent of the vote in the leadership election to defeat his sole rival, Anas Sarwar. Leonard replaces Kezia Dugdale, who resigned in August.

Leonard’s big challenge will be to rebuild support for Labour in Scotland, where it was the dominant political force for decades. The party now lies far behind the Scottish National Party, which runs the Scottish government, in the polls and came third in behind the Conservatives in recent elections.

Leonard had support of all the major trade unions including Unite, Britain’s largest trade union.

The leadership election was tarnished by personal attacks and allegations of underhand plots to win votes, the BBC reported. Adding to the tumult, deputy leader Alex Rowley was suspended from the party earlier this week over harassment allegations, which he disputes.

Dugdale is to take part in U.K. reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.”

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