“I have come to the conclusion it is in the best interests of the party that I step aside as leader of Scottish Labour with immediate effect.
“This was not an easy decision, but after three years I feel it is the right one for me and for the Party.”
Starmer’s statement in full:
“I would like to thank Richard for his service to our party and his unwavering commitment to the values he believes in.
“Richard has led Scottish Labour through one of the most challenging and difficult periods in our country’s history, including a general election and the pandemic.
“Even from opposition he has achieved a considerable amount for which he should be very proud. This includes securing a commitment for the creation of a national care service, securing action on a Jobs Guarantee Scheme to deal with youth unemployment, securing a human-rights based public inquiry into the treatment of care home residents during the COVID pandemic and securing support for a Fair Rents Bill to give new rights to tenants.
“He has done so with dedication to the values of our movement.
“I wish Richard the very best for the future as one of our MSPs and know that he will continue to play an important role in Scottish Labour.”