New leader of Scottish Labour to be announced


The new leader of Scottish Labour is set to be announced, with party members choosing between Kezia Dugdale and Ken Macintosh.

About 15,000 party members and 6,000 affiliated and registered members were entitled to take part in the ballot, which opened on July 20 and closed at midday on Friday.

The party's new deputy will also be announced, with Richard Baker, Alex Rowley and Gordon Matheson vying for the role.

Lothians MSP Ms Dugdale has been tipped as the favourite to defeat Mr Macintosh in the contest to succeed Jim Murphy, who resigned after Labour was all but wiped out in Scotland in the general election.

The leader and deputy leader will be elected under a one-member-one-vote system after reforms to the election process were brought forward by Mr Murphy.

Speaking as the campaign entered its final stages, Ms Dugdale, who served as Mr Murphy's deputy, said the job of ''rebuilding trust'' in Scottish Labour would start straight away under her leadership.

''We have the chance to choose a fresh start for Scottish Labour,'' she said.

''If I win this election it will be a clear signal of a new generation ready to take Scottish Labour forward.

''The role of the next leader is to set out a positive Labour vision for transforming Scotland and to hold the SNP Government to account for their major failings on schools, the NHS and policing.

''Too many people in Scotland tell us that they just don't know what Labour stands for any more. Under my leadership there will be no doubt what we stand for and who we stand with."

Mr Macintosh, the MSP for Eastwood, has suggested that he is the "challenger" in the contest, up against the "party machine" he says backs Ms Dugdale.

He said: "I want to offer the Scottish people hope again - I want to transform the Scottish Labour Party into a positive force for real change in Scotland.

''Throughout this leadership contest, I have spoken in detail about the changes I will make, about the new leadership style and approach to politics I will bring as party leader."

He added that he has "the ideas, the vision and the determination to help Labour win again".