Scottish Labour: Anas Sarwar says Labor must be in ‘perpetual campaign mode’
Labor must be in “perpetual campaign mode” until the next general election to secure the party’s return to government, said Anas Sarwar.
The Scottish Labor leader spoke about his party’s preparedness as he launched a new campaign on Saturday to ‘kick’ Boris Johnson out of Downing Street.
Speaking to the PA news agency ahead of a campaign session in the city’s Easterhouse area, Mr Sarwar said the Prime Minister – who survived a confidence vote on Monday, although 148 Tory MPs voted against him – was a “disaster”.
After the vote, Mr Johnson ruled out a snap election, meaning the next Westminster poll could be in January 2025.
“I think we have to be in perpetual campaign mode because I don’t think we can underestimate the damage Boris Johnson has done to our country,” Mr Sarwar said.
“It’s a disaster as Prime Minister, but it’s also a gift for those looking to break up the UK – it’s a gift with the SNP, it’s a disaster for our country.
“So we have to be ready for every election.
The Labor leader, who oversaw a local council election in Scotland where the party increased its number of councilors and vote share, said he should ‘win the argument’ that the only way to impeach Boris Johnson was to vote Labour, as well as show the positive aspects of his party in government at Westminster.
When asked if the next campaign could focus more on personalities than politics – with Labour’s opening salvo focusing on the Prime Minister’s actions rather than government policy – Mr. Sarwar said the party should take a two-track approach.
“Firstly, it is very clear that we have in Boris Johnson a leader who is a disaster in terms of the Prime Minister’s post, someone who is a charlatan, a cheat, a liar, someone who has no the moral compass to hold this position and this office and so we have to hunt him,” he said.
He added: “But listen, I don’t just want to kick Boris Johnson out, we also have to demonstrate over the weeks and months to come the difference Labor will make in power, both in terms of how to push back the democracy in our communities, but also how we bring about the social and economic change that we need in our country, to transform our country, and only the Labor Party can do that.
The priority of any future election, Mr Sarwar said, should “first and foremost” be on the cost of living crisis, followed by investing in public services and improving the economy to “creating jobs for the future”.