Labour names candidate

LABOUR has selected a council leader to fight a by-election prompted by the death of former minister David Cairns MP.

Iain McKenzie has served as leader of Inverclyde Council since February and worked for 28 years with IBM, a major employer in the area.

The married father of two, from Greenock, was picked at a party husting in the town's Cruden Hall.

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He saw off competition from a former Labour MSP, David Whitton, one of a number of high-profile victims of the SNP's landslide in the Scottish Parliament election last month.

McKenzie said: "My first priority will be to bang heads together to create an urgent plan for jobs, getting Inverclyde working and bringing new employers here."

Cairns, who died from acute pancreatitis last month, held Inverclyde for Labour in 2010 with a majority of 14,416.

In the nearest equivalent Holyrood constituency, Greenock and Inverclyde, Labour's Duncan McNeil held on with a majority of just 511 in the Scottish Parliament election.