SCOTTISH Labour will “throw everything” at winning a Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election, Anas Sarwar has said. 

The party boss was in the constituency on Thursday morning as pressure continues to mount on shamed MP Margaret Ferrier to resign. 

The former SNP politician has been quiet since last week’s damning report from Parliament’s Standards Committee called for her to be suspended from the Commons for 30 days over Covid rule breaches. 

If, as likely, MPs back the sanction when they return from recess, it will automatically trigger a recall petition. 

If 10% of eligible registered voters sign the petition within six weeks, Ms Ferrier loses her seat and a by-election is necessary.

However, unless she suddenly resigns, it could still be months before voters go to the polls. 

Mr Sarwar said people in the seat were “very angry” with the incumbent. 

He said Labour would be “fully engaged and fully active in any recall petition”, campaigning to get the signatures from voters. 

Though the SNP has also committed to registering as a campaigner in favour of the recall, Mr Sarwar suggested the party may not be as committed as they claim. 

“There's one thing registering and one thing being a participant. It'd be interesting to see if they’re an active participant trying to get those signatures across the constituency.” 

“I imagine they're not very keen on a by-election,” he added. “How times have changed. Labour now look forward to elections, rather than fear them.”

Glasgow Times:

The constituency is one of Scottish Labour’s top five targets, a failure to win here would not bode well for their overall performance at next year’s General Election

However, Mr Sarwar said the pressure he is under now is nothing compared to what it was when he took over as leader in 2021, just weeks before the Holyrood election.

He said: “Look, I'm going to throw everything at it and we're going to put all our energy into it, not be complacent. But am I eager to get out there and try to win the argument?

"Of course, I am. Because this country is desperate for change. This constituency is desperate for change. And Labour has to demonstrate that we are that change.”