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Gordon Brown endorses Jackie Baillie for Scottish Labour deputy leader

PA

Gordon Brown endorses Jackie Baillie for Scottish Labour deputy leader

The former Prime Minister said that Baillie “has proven that she is Labour to the core” and has a plan to get Scottish Labour into power in 2021

Gordon Brown has endorsed Jackie Baillie to become Scottish Labour’s deputy leader as voting opens in the contest.

The former Prime Minister said that Baillie “has proven that she is Labour to the core” and has a plan to get Scottish Labour into power in 2021.

Baillie welcomed Brown’s backing and said that the party “cannot carry on with business as usual” if it hopes to succeed in future.

Brown said: “I have supported Jackie Baillie on the five occasions she has been elected and served the people with great distinction as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumbarton.

“As the one MSP standing for deputy leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Jackie has a positive plan for getting Scottish Labour back into power in 2021 that focuses on the NHS, schools and quality jobs and she supports the Scottish and UK constitutional changes we want to see.”

Baillie is seen as the clear favourite as ballots open for the deputy leadership contest, having received support from a majority of local parties, councillors, affiliated organisations and MSPs.

Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr is also running for the position but attracted criticism in the days before the ballot for walking out of the Glasgow City Council budget vote on Thursday, refusing to vote for his own party’s proposals.

He now faces disciplinary action for breaking the party whip.

Kerr is regarded as being on the left of the party and is an ally of Corbyn and Richard Leonard, while Baillie has clashed in the past with the Scottish Labour leader and was dropped from his shadow cabinet in 2018.

Baillie is the longest-serving Scottish Labour MSP and has previously said that the contest is a “choice between continuity and change - more of the same won’t do.”

She said: “Gordon knows better than anyone what Labour can achieve when it rebuilds and wins power, and I’m honoured to have his support.

“We need to change to win. That’s why I have put myself forward to be deputy leader: to help unite the party and make the changes we need.

“We cannot carry on with business as usual – we need change now.

“As Scottish Labour members across Scotland receive their ballots, I’m asking to serve as deputy leader so I can work with everyone in our movement to rebuild and fight our way back to power. It is only in power that we can deliver our Labour values.”

The winner of the election will be announced on 3 April.

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