SCOTTISH Labour leader hopeful Anas Sarwar says his family’s business doesn’t pay the real living wage because it doesn’t have to.

In a brutal interview on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, the Glasgow MSP also denied that being a millionaire, who sends his children to a £10,000-a-year private school meant he was “one of the few”.

Sarwar owns around a quarter of the shares in his family’s United Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd, worth an estimated £4.8m.

The Sunday Herald reported recently that the firm paid staff at £7.50 an hour, lower than the £8.45 real living wage championed by Scottish Labour.

The cash-and-carry also has no formal trade union recognition in place for its 250 staff, which, Sarwar said, was down to no union ever asking to be established.

Sarwar was asked if he was one of the “few”, despite Jeremy Corbyn promising to stand up for “the many, not the few”.

He replied: "No I don't accept that at all. The reason I’m in the Labour party is because I don’t choose to opt out of politics. I choose to fight for equality, to fight for opportunity. That’s why I’m in the Labour party.”

Asked if the pay at UWS undermined his credibility, he answered: “The difference is I don’t support a voluntary real living wage. I support a mandatory real living wage. I don’t think it’s right that the market dictates what a fair day’s pay is, and that’s why I want it to be a compulsory policy.”

He added that he had no real influence in the company: “One, I’m a minority shareholder in the company.

“Second, I have no role in the company. I’m not a director in the company. I have no say in how the company operates.

“But I have had assurances from the company that they do want to transition to a real living wage for all employees.

“They too have welcomed the fact that a Labour government would introduce a real living wage much quicker than the current UK government, meaning they’d be able to implement it quicker, and also so it’s compulsory on every company.

“I don’t care who the shareholder of any company is, I don’t care which company it is, I want every company to be mandated by the government to pay the real living wage and not use the market as the excuse.”

It was a tough interview for the politician. His rival for the top job, Richard Leonard, had a much easier time of it, though faced difficult questions over Labour’s reluctance to pay out over equal pay claims at Glasgow City Council.

When Sarwar was asked about sending his offspring sons to the £10,000-a-year Hutchesons’ Grammar instead of any of the local comprehensives, he criticised the host..

“Again, Gary, I would rather you focused on the policy,” he said.

He added: “It’s clear you only want to focus on policy with one candidate, not the other, which I think is unfortunate.

“But directly answering the question on that, that’s a decision that my wife and I took.

“That’s a decision we made as a couple. I’m sure people would respect decisions that are made by any couple in the privacy of their own home.

“What I would say is, the fact is too many of our schools aren’t good enough in Scotland.

Too many of our teachers aren’t getting the resources they need.

“We have 4000 fewer teachers in our school system [under the SNP]. That’s not acceptable. I want opportunity for all children, and that’s why we need to increase the tax rate.”