Alex Rowley gets deputy ticket as Brown speaks out

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Alex Rowley has been elected as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

The Fife MSP, and former leader of Fife Council, joins new leader Kezia Dugdale at the helm of a party which was all but wiped out at the General Election - and they now face the challenge of reviving its fortunes at the Holyrood elections in 2016.

Dugdale took 72% of the vote to replace Jim Murphy as party leader north of the border, while Mr Rowley defeated Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, in the second round of the ballot for deputy.

It’s a swift rise to the top for the Fife politician who only became an MSP in January 2014, following the death of Helen Eadie.

Mr Rowley was general secretary of the Scottish Labour Party in the late 1990s, and twice led Fife Council - in 1990 and again in 2012.

He is widely regarded as Gordon Brown’s right hand man in the Kingdom. working closely with the former Kirkcaldy MP and Prime Minister.

Mr Rowley said, “I grew up in the mining village of Kelty. As I grew up it was quite clear that the Labour party was the party of working people.

“Labour must unite across Scotland to tackle inequality, poverty and create employment.”

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is expected to make his first intervention into Labour’s quest to find a new national leader in a speech tomorrow (Sunday).

He is expected to will make a speech in London entitled “Power for a Purpose – the Future of the Labour Party”