Who might replace Kezia Dugdale? Scottish Labour leadership runners and riders

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has quit with immediate effect after little over a year in the post.

She stood down claiming the party needed a new leader with “fresh energy, drive and a new mandate” ahead of Holyrood elections in four years time.

Rumours abounded that Ms Dugdale, who in the past has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn, had been forced out – but the Labour Party leader paid tribute to his colleague north of the border.

Her resignation now leaves a vacuum at the top of the party in Scotland. Here are possible candidates to replace her.

Favourite: Neil Findlay (PA)

Neil Findlay, MSP for Lothian

The current favourite among left-wing activists, this pro-Corbyn member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothian is a socialist and member of CND.

Crucially he is a UNITE member and may get the backing of union boss Len McCluskey. He has run for leader before, losing to Jim Murphy in 2014.

Anas Sarwar, MSP for Glasgow

A former MP for Glasgow Central and former deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party, the 34-year-old is among the most senior party figures likely to throw their hat in the ring. Seen as a moderate and successor to Kezia Dugdale. He was embroiled in a bitter row with the SNP after he sent his son to private school.

Richard Leonard, MSP for Central Scotland

Labour members are already talking excitedly about how this former GMB man would be their favoured candidate if Mr Findlay does not stand. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, and is pro-Corbyn and popular among the party’s left-wing despite being a relative newbie.

Alex Rowley, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife

The current interim Scottish Labour Leader and deputy leader broke from Ms Dugdale to write a letter of support for Corbyn when he faced a leadership challenge in 2016. He is a former Fife council chief, fixer for Gordon Brown and has called upon his party to ditch its pro-Union stance. His daughter Danielle is the MP for Midlothian in Westminster.


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