ANAS Sarwar has dismissed criticism of the Labour Party put forward by Scots star Alan Cumming.

The Hollywood actor had appeared on the BBC’s Sundays with Laura Kuenssberg show on June 11, where he said that Keir Starmer’s shifting to the right had left a “black hole” in British politics.

Appearing as a panelist, Cumming told the BBC show: “That’s what I think is the problem right now in British politics. You have the Conservative Party and then Conservative-lite with the Labour Party.

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“The ordinary working people of this country. Where do they go? The working people who want a little more left-wing, they don’t have an option anymore. That to me is the gaping hole, the black hole of British politics.”

Starmer has faced internal criticism for moving away from the socialist policies and values he claimed to hold while bidding to be elected Labour leader.

On Friday, a former Scottish Labour MSP candidate hit out at the party leader in an excoriating article for the online magazine Heckle, claiming Starmer wanted to entrench Tory policies, not oppose them.

Questioned about the “Conservative-lite” label on Kuenssberg’s show on June 18, Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar said that Starmer had “transformed” the party, and claimed it was better to be in power than to be “ideologically pure”.

He said: “First of all, in terms of those people that are ardent SNP supporters, of course they’re going to want to attack the Labour Party, of course they’re going to want to tarnish the Labour Party, because they know that the Tories winning again is perhaps the only way that they can resuscitate their own party here in Scotland.”

Cumming is an SNP member, who came out in support of Humza Yousaf during the party’s leadership contest earlier in 2023.

Sarwar went on: “Humza Yousaf’s already said it doesn’t matter if the Tories win again across the UK. Actually, it really matters if the Tories win again and that’s why Labour is determined to get rid of this rotten Tory government.

“But I also say to people, I didn’t join the Labour Party for us to be a protest movement, for us to keep losing elections but still to wake up in the morning happy that we will be ideologically pure.

“I am in the Labour Party, people support the Labour Party, because they want the Labour Party to be a party of government so we can actually do things for the country, positively, in line with our values.”

He added that “Keir Starmer has transformed the Labour Party in the last three years”.

Sarwar has also brought Scottish Labour more to the right than his predecessor Richard Leonard, who Starmer has previously appeared to claim to have intervened to oust.