Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) is a Scottish politician who served as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2011 to 2014. He has been a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the Glasgow region since 2016, having previously been Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow Central from 2010 to 2015. In 2017, he campaigned for the Scottish Labour Party leadership but lost to Richard Leonard. He identifies as a Brownite and has been described as being on the political right of the Scottish Labour Party.
Sarwar in 2016
|Leader of the Scottish Labour Party|
24 October 2014 – 13 December 2014
|Preceded by||Johann Lamont|
|Succeeded by||Jim Murphy|
|Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party|
17 December 2011 – 13 December 2014
|Preceded by||Johann Lamont|
|Succeeded by||Kezia Dugdale|
|Member of the Scottish Parliament|
(1 of 7 Regional MSPs)
|Assumed office |
6 May 2016
|Member of Parliament|
for Glasgow Central
6 May 2010 – 30 March 2015
|Preceded by||Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar|
|Succeeded by||Alison Thewliss|
|Born||14 March 1983|
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
|Political party||Scottish Labour Party|
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow|
Early life and careerEdit
Sarwar was born on 14 March 1983 in Glasgow to Perveen and Mohammad Sarwar, both Pakistani Muslims. He is the youngest of four children and was educated at Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school in Glasgow. He graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in general dentistry in 2005, becoming an NHS general dentist in Paisley until 2010 when he was elected as an MP. Sarwar became a member of the Scottish Labour Party at the age of 16 and was an executive member of Scottish Young Labour. He later joined the Co-operative Party, Fabian Society, trade unions Unite and Community and pressure group Progress, of which he served as a vice-chair.
2007 Scottish Parliament electionEdit
For the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, Sarwar was selected to stand as the number one regional list candidate for the Glasgow region. He was a member of Labour's Scottish Policy Forum which was responsible for drawing-up the Scottish Labour Party manifesto for that election. His attempt to enter Holyrood failed at the election when Labour lost control of the Scottish Parliament for the first time.
Member of Parliament: 2010–2015Edit
Sarwar was elected at the 2010 general election as MP for Glasgow Central, succeeding his father Mohammad Sarwar; who was the first-ever Muslim MP in the UK and increasing the previously held majority. He was elected by colleagues to serve on the International Development Select Committee. His parliamentary interests included foreign policy and international development, with specific areas of concern being Palestine and Kashmir. He was also co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on anti-corruption and was a member of the Welfare Reform Bill Committee. In January 2013, Sarwar was awarded the Politician of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.
In 2013, Sarwar took a strong line in attacking both the "Bedroom Tax" and the Scottish Government for its failure to mitigate its worst effects. During a vote on its repeal, Sarwar was in Pakistan, giving a speech to students at Hajvery University, and so was paired off with a Conservative MP, cancelling out the two votes. He was criticised for his absence by the SNP.
In 2014, Sarwar came under criticism for choosing to send his son to Hutchesons' Grammar School, an independent school and the same school that he himself attended, rather than a state school. MSP John Wilson stated: "Anas Sarwar once again highlights the hypocrisy of the Labour Party – talking of social justice and defending public services while sending his own child to a private school."
From 5 November 2014 until 8 May 2015, Sarwar was Labour's Shadow Minister for International Development. In January 2015, he was awarded the Spirit of Britain award at that year's British Muslim Awards. At the 2015 general election, he lost his Glasgow Central seat to Alison Thewliss of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party: 2011–2014Edit
In December 2011, Sarwar was elected Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party receiving 51.10% of the vote. In 2012, he was appointed to co-ordinate the Scottish Labour Party's 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign. The campaign, alongside Better Together, was ultimately successful, with Scotland voting 55% to 45% to remain in the United Kingdom. However, Scottish Labour were all but wiped out in an SNP landslide victory at the 2015 general election. Following the resignation of Johann Lamont on 25 October 2014, Sarwar became acting Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, until a new leader was elected. On 30 October he resigned as deputy leader at a Labour Party dinner in Glasgow.
Member of the Scottish Parliament: 2016–presentEdit
Sarwar was elected as an additional member in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election for the Glasgow region. In 2016, he was made Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Health and Sport. In September 2017, he announced he would run for the Scottish Labour Party leadership following the resignation of Kezia Dugdale. He eventually lost to his opponent, Richard Leonard. On 4 October 2018, he was sacked from his position as Health and Sport Spokesperson, stating he had only learnt of the sacking on Twitter.
In November 2019, Sarwar was given access to a leaked report from 2015 which had considered infection controls at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to be at "high risk". 10-year-old patient Milly Main died in the hospital in 2017 from a water infection, while she was there to recover from leukaemia. Sarwar raised the leaked report's findings in a Scottish Parliament debate in which he criticised NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for not closing certain hospital wards despite the report's findings. A constituent of his, he requested on behalf on Main's mother a response from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Sarwar is married to Furheen, who works as an NHS dentist, and the couple have three young children. He is a Muslim. He owns a quarter share of his family's cash and carry wholesale business; his share was valued in 2016 as worth between £2.7 million and £4.8 million. In September 2017, Sarwar transferred his shareholding to a discretionary trust for the benefit of his three young children, so that he could not personally access the assets or dividends.
- Carrell, Severin (20 September 2017). "Scottish Labour candidate Anas Sarwar laughs off 'neoliberal Blairite' tag". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
- "Anas Sarwar". Democracy Live. BBC News. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- Carrell, Severin (3 August 2009). "Dynastic Glaswegian keen to prove he is his own man". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Who's Who". Ukwhoswho.com. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "A question of politics". Scottish Dental magazine. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Progress annual conference 2011 – Progress – News and debate from the progressive community". Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- "Biography " Anas Sarwar MP | Working Hard for Glasgow Central". Anassarwar.org. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Peterkin, Tom (18 December 2011). "Anas Sarwar is the brightest of the bright young things – Politics". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "'I never thought I'd have to fight a political battle for my own country', says Labour MP".
- "Anas Sarwar". Scottish Labour. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media, 17 November 2013 Archived 25 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Scots Labour MPs slammed after bedroom tax no-show". 14 November 2013.
- Labour's deputy leader under fire for sending son to Glasgow private school www.heraldscotland.com, 26 January 2014
- "Anas Sarwar given new Labour international role". Herald Scotland.
- "British Muslim Awards 2015 finalists unveiled". Asian Image. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Johann Lamont named new Scottish Labour leader". BBC News. 17 December 2011.
- "Anas Sarwar to co-ordinate Labour's Scottish Referendum Campaign".
- "MSP Anas Sarwar launches Scottish Labour leadership bid". BBC News. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Scotland, BBC (4 October 2018). "Sarwar and Baillie out in Scottish Labour reshuffle". BBC News. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- "'Milly would be here' had hospital followed advice". BBC News. 29 November 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- "Anas Sarwar relinquishes shares in family firm". BBC News. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- "Anas Sarwar - My Unionism will never be in doubt". Scotsman. 18 September 2017.
- Gordon, Tom (31 August 2017). "Labour frontrunner faces backlash over wealth, schooling and opposition to Corbyn". The Herald. Scotland. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
- Official website
- Party website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Video interview after winning his seat in 2010 at Catch21
- Son could replace retiring MP Sarwar, The Herald, 23 June 2007
- Election shows politics runs in the family, The Herald, 1 May 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament
for Glasgow Central
|Party political offices|
| Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
| Leader of the Scottish Labour Party