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Why Richard Leonard must quit – Alex Cole-Hamilton

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THE first time I met Richard Leonard, it didn’t go well. It was our first or second day as newbies in the Scottish Parliament and I found myself beside him in the coffee queue.

Labour had taken a bit of a drubbing at the polls in 2016, so the majority of those newly elected alongside us were Tory MSPs. I think that reality excuses my opening question to Mr Leonard. I thought it perfectly reasonable to ask what prompted him to join the Conservative Party. He didn’t seem to find that reasonable at all.

The only other occasion I’ve spent any meaningful time in his company he thrashed me in a pancake-making competition. We were promoting something to do with renewable energy (well, obviously) but that conversation was laden with fewer expletives than the first and rather more quotes from the likes of Engels and Kropotkin.

Despite those two encounters, he is still one of the MSPs who entered Holyrood alongside me that I know least about. That says a lot, considering he leads what was the most powerful political force in Scottish politics for the best part of 100 years.

The man who would be First Minister is unquestionably a deep thinker and........

© Edinburgh Evening News

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