A LOCAL Scottish Labour party had to cancel its annual dinner with Anas Sarwar as keynote speaker due to a lack of ticket sales, The National has been told.

The Edinburgh Northern and Leith constituency Labour party (CLP) had tried to charge members £65 a head for a seat at a dinner with the Holyrood group leader.

The event was to be held in late September last year and was billed as the CLP’s "annual dinner". However, only around one in five tickets sold, The National was told, forcing its cancellation.

Instead, the CLP has organised a new "annual dinner" with Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, which is charged at £60 a head and is due to take place in February.

The venue for the two events – The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh – is the same, as was the offer of a three-course meal with wine.

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The pricing of the events was criticised by one Labour member, who asked: “Since when does socialism come at £60 a head?”

They raised concerns that older people relying on pensions, disabled people, or those on low incomes would be effectively locked out of the event with the party’s deputy leader.

“I don’t think that’s fair at all,” they said, adding that “everyone” is struggling under a cost-of-living crisis made by the Tory government.

Scottish Labour said they would not be commenting on the Rayner event, and did not respond when asked about the Sarwar one.

After The National approached the party, a fresh invitation to the Rayner event was sent out saying that there were now a “limited number of tickets for sale at £30 for unwaged/minimum wage members”.

The National:

Tracy Gilbert, the Labour candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith at the next General Election, is billed to appear alongside Rayner (above).

The £60 price tag is almost double the £35 which is being charged to attend the Edinburgh Southern CLP’s Burns Night supper, which will also feature Labour frontbenchers.

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray, shadow minister Michael Shanks, MSP Sarah Boyack, and former Scottish secretary Douglas Alexander are all on the line-up for the event in late January.

The CLP offers a £25 ticket rate for under-24s, and says all funds raised will be used to fight the next General Election campaign.

A Burns event on the same date for the Fife Labour CLP will feature Anas Sarwar. Prices for tickets are not publicly listed.