Gordon Brown tipped to ‘knock SNP out of ring’ and derail Sturgeon’s independence dream

Nicola Sturgeon made ‘basic mistake’ says Tony Miklinski

Richard Leonard’s bombshell resignation as Scottish Labour leader on Thursday has left the party in disarray just five months before the crunch Scottish elections. He had held the position since November 2017 and said he was stepping down with immediate effect as he felt it was “in the best interests of the party”. But former Labour MP George Galloway has tipped Mr Brown as the ideal candidate to take the fight to the SNP and help derail Ms Sturgeon’s dreams of Scottish independence in the near future.

Political veteran Mr Brown was Prime Minister for three years between 2007 and 2010, having been Chancellor of the Exchequer for a decade prior to that.

Like Mr Galloway, he is a vocal critic of Scottish independence and has spoken out against the SNP’s plans on several occasions.

Alliance 4 Unity founder Mr Galloway told Express.co.uk: “We are excited at the possibility of Gordon Brown returning to frontline UK politics as the new leader of Scottish Labour.

“That would be a tremendous boost for those that want to keep the UK together.

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“I’ve had a lot of disagreements with Gordon but not on this fundamental question that Scotland is better in Britain, and Britain is better with Scotland.

“I hope that happens and I’m sure he is thinking about it.”

Mr Galloway added: “I know he has many other important jobs and tasks but there can’t be a more important moment than that.

“He has been the Prime Minister of Britain, he has been the Chancellor of the Exchequer and has been around UK politics for more than 45 years.

“Gordon Brown would knock the SNP out of the ring in a debate. He oozes experience but also integrity.”

Mr Galloway had previously taken to Twitter to talk up the prospect of Mr Brown taking over at Scottish Labour and posing a significant threat to the SNP.

He told his 360,000 followers: “I have known Gordon Brown 45 years.

“Labour is not my party.

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“Making him Scottish Labour leader would be the biggest single thing the party could do to rescue Scotland from the perdition of perpetual SNP rule, the Neverendum, and could save Britain.

“Do it, Gordon.”

Last September, Mr Leonard insisted he would lead Scottish Labour into May’s election, despite party MSPs James Kelly, Daniel Johnson and Jenny Marra all speaking out publicly against him.

But he announced on Thursday: “I have thought long and hard over the Christmas period about what this crisis means, and the approach Scottish Labour takes to help tackle it.

“I have also considered what the speculation about my leadership does to our ability to get Labour’s message across. This has become a distraction.

“I have come to the conclusion it is in the best interests of the party that I step aside as leader of Scottish Labour with immediate effect.

“This was not an easy decision, but after three years I feel it is the right one for me and for the party.”

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