THE Left-wing candidate to be Scottish Labour leader has launched a thinly veiled attack on his rival, saying it would have been “a disaster” if plotters had ousted Jeremy Corbyn.

On the second anniversary of Mr Corbyn becoming UK leader, Richard Leonard compared his own loyalty to the leader with those who urged him to quit, who included Anas Sarwar.

Mr Sarwar was among 13 MSPs to sign an open letter calling for Mr Corbyn to “do the right thing” and consider his position after a revolt by 80 per cent of his MPs.

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The centrist candidate to lead Scottish Labour, a multi-millionaire who sends his children to a £10,000-a-year private school, Mr Sarwar now says he wants Mr Corbyn as Prime Minister.

Mr Leonard said he was proud of sticking by the leader when “many called on Jeremy to quit” and it was “necessary to be consistent”.

He added: “We need a Scottish Labour Party in tune with this new movement.”

Mr Leonard, one of three MSPs to publicly condemn the ‘coup’ attempt against Mr Corbyn, said Labour was “bigger than ever” and owed its advance at the General Election to the leader’s “radical and engaging programme for change”.

He said: “It is two years since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party.

“I pay tribute to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the way he has revitalised the party and energised young people. He has brought a new vitality to politics.

“Last year, when times were tougher, many called on Jeremy to quit but I was proud to be one of those who stood by him and backed his leadership – because I believed the members’ judgement in electing him was right, and because I saw that his authentic and principled politics had the capacity to change politics for the better.

“It is necessary to be consistent, and pursue real unity if we are to win.

It would have been a disaster if Jeremy had been forced out last year and if the party had broken from the path of renewal that Jeremy represents.”

Mr Leonard, 55, a former official with the GMB, became a Central Scotland MSP last year.

Mr Sarwar, 34, was an MP from 2010 to 2015, and became a Glasgow MSP last year.

The results of the leadership race are due to be announced on November 18.