Three through to next round of Scottish Labour's leadership battle

Labour today announced three candidates have made it through to the next round of the race to become deputy leader of the Scottish party.

Jackie Baillie looks the favourite to become Scottish Labour's number two
Jackie Baillie looks the favourite to become Scottish Labour's number two

Long-serving Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie looks the favourite with a total of 60 nominations, with the backing of 48 councillors, 11 MSPs and Scotland's only MP, Edinburgh South's Ian Murray.

Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr had 33 nominations - 32 councillors and one MSP.

And Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeill 10 councillors and seven MSPs

Dundee councillor Michael Marra did not meet the nominations threshold to make it to the next round.

Now each of the remaining candidates will have to win nominations from either at least five per cent of local parties, or at least three affiliates - at least two of which must be trade union affiliates - comprising five per cent of fully paid up affiliated membership. The deadline for securing that support is February 14.

Then the final list of candidates will go to party members across Scotland, with the ballot opening on February 21 and closing on April 2. The result will be announced on Friday April 3.

The job of deputy to Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard is vacant following the resignation of Lesley Laird after she lost her Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat at the general election last month.

Labour was criticised last week when it rejected a plan by Ms Baillie and Ms McNeill, who come from different wings of the party, to job-share the deputy post in a bid to unite the party.