Our Labour movement has always been at the forefront of building a fairer society.
Today, as we shape our post-Covid future, we are needed more than ever.
We face overwhelming challenges – ending poverty, healing our health service, and tackling the climate emergency.
I know that our party has the ideas and the determination to build that fairer society.
But we don’t have a right to be listened to just because of what we have achieved in the past.
I am standing for leader because I want to rebuild the Scottish Labour Party and work to rebuild our country.
Over the past few years, I have gained a new perspective on our politics.
We spend too much time highlighting our differences, rather than focusing on what unites us.
My own experience has made me determined to work towards ending the divisions of race, gender, power and opportunity.
I want to bring our movement together.
But I can’t do it alone.
It will need all of us to work together so that we transform our party into a strong and credible opposition with realistic, constructive ideas for the future.
This work is so important because our opponents want to take our country back to the divisive politics of old.
We cannot go back to society as it was before the pandemic – insecure work, hollowed out public services, an underfunded health service, and the constant focus on another independence referendum which is not a priority for the people of Scotland.
The coronavirus crisis taught us about some of the deeply ingrained, systemic injustices running deep through our society: poverty that can lock families out of opportunity for generations; racism which has taken a deep root; and the rapid extinction of wildlife species and the impact of climate breakdown on communities across the planet.
We need a united Scottish Labour Party to fight these injustices, with a Covid recovery plan that offers opportunity and aspiration for all.
A country where our public services and local councils have the resources they need, where our schools are restored to their rightful place as among the best in the world, where we create the jobs of the future and deliver a real plan for climate justice, and ensure our NHS never again has to choose between treating a virus or treating cancer.
A country which offers opportunity and aspiration for all.
As leader of our movement, I will listen to workers, trade unions, and employers across Scotland to build a shared platform that looks to the future.
Scottish Labour can win again if we offer a positive alternative – a plan to heal our wounds, to reunite our people, and to rebuild our country.
Covid has changed the world and it has changed Scotland. We need our politics to change too.
I know that if we work together, we can deliver that change and rebuild our party and our country.