Leonard is described as being the most left-wing politician in the running, and as such, he would likely be the first choice for so-called ‘Corbynites’.
Leonard was born in 1962 in Yorkshire and was educated at Pocklington School from 1973 to 1980 under the direct grant scheme. He went on to study politics and economics at the University of Stirling. Later, he was an industrial organiser for the trade union GMB for twenty years.
Leonard came second in the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Election but in 2016 he won a seat for the first time at Holyrood as an additional member. He is currently Scottish Labour’s economy spokesman and helped the party draw up its industrial strategy.
Leonard is second favourite to lead the party behind current front-runner Anas Sarwar, a former deputy leader of the party under Johann Lamont and current MSP for Glasgow Central.
The leadership campaign period will see candidates take part in 10 hustings events across Scotland ahead of the party vote on 17 November, with the result being declared the next day.