Image source, Scottish Labour

Image caption,

The new logo will feature in the party’s campaign for the upcoming Scottish council elections

Scottish Labour it to replace its traditional red rose emblem with a thistle as part of a rebranding exercise to update the party’s image.

The red rose has been the Labour Party’s logo since it was introduced by former leader Neil Kinnock in 1986.

But Scottish Labour said it would now be replaced by a red and purple thistle after feedback from voters.

The new logo will be formally unveiled by leader Anas Sarwar when the Scottish Labour conference starts on Friday.

It is understood that the rebranding will form part of efforts to modernise the party’s image and emphasise its Scottish credentials, with the new logo to be used in Labour’s campaign ahead of May’s council elections.

Labour is expected to keep the red rose elsewhere in the UK.

Image source, Scottish labour

Image caption,

The new emblem replaces the party’s traditional red rose logo

A spokesman for the party said: “Scottish Labour is committed to transforming our party to win back the trust of the people to Scotland.

“We’re on the the side of Scots, and hope they’ll join us so we can build the future together. To do that we need new ideas and new thinking.

“At Scottish Labour conference this week you will hear Anas Sarwar relentlessly focus on the future.”

The Scottish Conservatives said it was “laughable that Labour are wasting time on which pretty flower to use as their logo when Scottish people are far more concerned about their jobs and public services.”

It’s not quite a “new Labour”, but this rebranding is one brick in a more substantial rebuild of the Scottish party.

Having taken the reins a matter of weeks before the Holyrood elections last year, Anas Sarwar had little chance to introduce himself to the electorate, never mind reposition the party.

And with that poll cementing Labour’s position in third place in Scottish politics, the overhaul will need to be more than cosmetic.

If Mr Sarwar is to get Labour back into contention with the SNP and the Conservatives, he needs to come up with convincing answers to the issues which left them trailing.

One of them is undoubtedly the constitution, with his party often a third wheel in a binary debate, but beyond that he needs to come up with a distinctive offering to the electorate, a concrete message about what Scottish Labour is for in 2022.

All of this clearly goes beyond swapping a rose for a thistle – and with local elections looming in May, there is little time to waste.