Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has revealed he will join Aberdeen Labour on the campaign trail in the coming weeks.
The Glasgow MSP has so far not campaigned in the north or north-east but said this was due to being “very careful around Covid-19“.
Speaking to journalists, he committed to travelling across the country as restrictions further ease, including a visit to the Granite City.
Under the current regulations, party leaders can travel between local authority areas to campaign and it is also possible for people across Scotland to travel across the country and meet people outdoors.
On Saturday Mr Sarwar travelled to Dundee where he met local Scottish Labour candidates outside the V&A.
He said: “I’m looking forward to visiting Aberdeen through this campaign as well.
“We haven’t been able to travel as much as we’d like to travel during this campaign.
“That’s largely because we’ve been very careful around Covid-19 and the pandemic but as that starts to ease you will see us travelling a lot more around the country, north, east, south and west.
“I’m desperate to do that, to get out and support our candidates, that includes not just in the cities of Dundee and Aberdeen but wider in the region as well.”
Addressing questions on whether the suspension of nine Labour councillors in Aberdeen could hamper campaigning efforts in the city, Mr Sarwar said Aberdeen Labour is “out there supporting its candidates”.
The so-called Aberdeen Nine were suspended in 2017 after forming a ruling coalition with Conservative members on Aberdeen City Council and have been banned from standing for Labour again until 2022.
Mr Sarwar revealed last week that he wants to see the group’s suspension lifted but warned they would need to wait to be readmitted.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, he said: “They are still Labour Party members. They may well be suspended as Labour Party councillors but they remain Labour Party members.
“I know Aberdeen Labour is out there supporting its candidates and working really hard in this election campaign and I look forward to joining them in future.
“They have their own record and I think they are proudly talking about their record.
“They were the UK council of the year and they’re supporting their local candidates and I look forward to being in Aberdeen myself in the near future.”
The Scottish Labour leader, who will launch his party’s manifesto on Thursday, said it was “clear from both the SNP and the Tory manifestos that they lack the big ideas”.
He added: “We need bold commitments in the next five years and to actually deliver on them to create a stronger and fairer nation.”