Joe Biden aide partners with Labour bigshot on leadership campaign to defeat SNP

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Mae Dobbs was a lead online spin doctor in the Biden/Harris campaign and helped Mr Biden to win Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania ahead of the US Presidential election. The campaign strategist has been named as a lead digital figure in Scottish Labour Anas Sarwar’s leadership campaign.

Mr Sarwar is standing against Monica Lennon, the party’s health spokeswoman in the race to replace Richard Leonard ahead of the Holyrood election in May.

As well as tackling disinformation and hate, also understands she will help boost Mr Sarwar’s image on key issues including Scottish independence, a key issue in the Scottish elections. 

A source close to Mr Sarwar said: “Effective strategy is key, Mae will certainly help to boost Anas’s image and give him the edge to lead Scottish Labour against Nicola Sturgeon and the independence obsessed SNP.”

The announcement came as the US prepares to inaugurate Mr Biden as its 46th president this afternoon.

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The MSP said today Scotland still bore “the scars” of the 2014 independence referendum and of Brexit, adding: “The idea that those who have advocated their own form of either Brexit nationalism or independence nationalism are somehow now the great beacons of trying to pull our country together just isn’t credible.”

Addressing both First Minister Nicola Sturgeon directly, Mr Sarwar said: “Covid has changed the world.

“If you think we can go back to the same arguments we were having before this crisis then I’m sorry you’re not putting the interests of Scotland first – you are putting your own political interest first – and I’m not willing to do that.”

On independence, he said: “I do not support an independence referendum in the next parliament. I support the next parliament being a COVID recovery parliament.”

Ms Dobbs said: “Transforming digital campaigns is one of the key ways we can bring people together and tackle some of the division in our communities today.

“I’m excited to be part of this campaign, and to get started on a truly historic day for the United States of America.”

Mr Sarwar said: “Today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and (vice-president) Kamala Harris is heartening to any campaigner who has been fighting the hate and division which Donald Trump has sowed these last few years.

“Tackling hate – particularly digital hate – and fighting misinformation are crucial in protecting our democracy and bringing people together, something we badly need in these difficult times.”

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Ms Lennon, Mr Sarwar’s opposition, meanwhile said the party should not move to block another vote on independence.

She said: “I don’t believe in Scottish independence but I do understand people maybe have frustrations, things are not settled, and I’m not in politics to tell people what they can’t have. I’ll always respect democracy.

“We have to find out why this is such a polarising issue in Scotland, we can’t just wish it away.”

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