The National:

WHAT is it with Labour politicians who are too embarrassed to mention their own party name or leader on campaign material they give to voters?

A glossy “annual report” sent out to homes in the southside of Glasgow by Anas Sarwar fails to mention either his boss Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour or Labour anywhere on its A4-size four pages.

It does state that Sarwar is an MSP for the Glasgow region, and the leaflet carries a “thank you” rainbow to the NHS, care staff and other key frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic, as well as to people who volunteered during the crisis.

It also reminds people to get their flu jab.

It raises concerns about the high proportion of Covid deaths in care homes, about the effects of the pause on cancer screening during lockdown and about the damage to businesses and jobs the coronavirus has caused.

But nowhere in the document is the party’s red rose motif and neither in the main text – or even in its small print – does it tell the reader which party Sarwar represents.

One explanation is that the document is paid for by the Scottish Parliament and under the rules the document should not be political.

But neither the Greens or the Tories were so shy about sticking their names on the documents received by southsiders around the same time.

And isn’t it a little bit off, political parties sticking taxpayer-funded material though voters’ doors just five months away from an election?

Of course, one explanation we can think of for the absence of the Labour name is that trailing at 12% in the polls, the party is not exactly popular – least of all in Nicola Sturgeon’s Yes-supporting Glasgow Southside constituency, not so long ago a safe Labour seat.

Sarwar has recently returned to Leonard’s frontbench in the role of constitution spokesman. But thankfully, southsiders were spared his “no” to a second independence vote.