The Scottish Labour Party leadership contest is coming to head with the country gritting their teeth, waiting until the 18th of November to find out if the new leader is Richard Leonard or Anas Sarwar. Anas is the first Pakistani Muslim to be contesting leadership of a mainstream political party in Europe where if the Labour Party wins Government elections, he could potentially become the leader, First Minister of Scotland.
It’s been a great build up to the campaign so far and as it is nearing the end, there have been more than expected criticism of the candidate – some may go as far as calling it a racist smear campaign. One would wonder why so many skeletons were not being revealed when Mr Sarwar contested Deputy Leadership a few years ago. His assets, his job, his family and even the affordability of his children’s school fees have been questioned whereas there does not seem to be such a kerfuffle around Richard Leonard’s campaign.
Being the first Pakistani Muslim, and one of the youngest to have ever ran for such a position is likely to open many a Pandora’s box but the feeling amongst the general public, and indeed Scottish Labour itself is that the attacks media is taking as Anas Sarwar is more than expected so of course it edges towards the racist lines.
This, like any other election campaign that Anas Sarwar has been running in has not been a ‘normal’ one that’s for sure. The Sarwar family has seen many a campaign where Mohammed Sarwar and his son Anas have faced heavy criticism, accusations and had their private lives under a microscope. This leadership election looks to be just as heavy, if not considered worse.
The media now has just a number of days left to dig up any more graves as votes and fate will decide the future of Scottish Labour as well as if Scotland is likely to have their first ever Muslim First Minister. We wish this bright candidate the best of luck as we hope to witness his what will be iconic and historic win.