Rowley rules out Scottish Labour leadership bid

Alex Rowley MSP (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)
Alex Rowley MSP (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

Alex Rowley has ruled himself out of the contest to find the next leader of Scottish Labour.

The Fife MSP, and former leader of Fife Council, took his name off the table just 24 hours after Kezia Dugdale’s announcement she was quitting with immediate effect.

Mr Rowley, currently deputy leader of the party, has taken on the interim leadership, but he won’t be part of the contest to find her successor.

Labour in Scotland has had six leaders in six years, and now faces another contest to find number seven.

Mr Rowley won the backing of the Unite union earlier today, which raised speculation he would stand.

But he has let it be known he has no ambition to become First Minister – the post he says any leader has to, ultimately, aim for.

He said: “I have no ambition to be the First Minister of Scotland.

“It’s never something I saw myself doing, so I have no intention in running for leader because, as I say, whoever is in that job their focus should be on becoming first minister.”

Mr Rowley is the second prominent MSP to rule himself out of the running.

Neil Findlay, seen by many as a possible candidate, has already said he won’t stand.