Leonard accepts resignation
Rowley quits as deputy Scottish Labour leader
Alex Rowley: denies allegations (photo by Terry Murden)
Alex Rowley has resigned as deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party in the wake of allegations against him by a former partner.
Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird has been installed as interim deputy leader.
In a statement on the outcome of a Labour investigation into claims of harassment made against him, he said: “Today, I have informed Richard Leonard that I do not intend to resume the role of Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
“I am pleased the panel has discharged the case which I referred to them, but I am disappointed that they were unable fully to investigate – and I to have the opportunity to answer – the allegations, which relate to the acrimonious end to a relationship nearly five years ago.”
He had already stepped aside as deputy leader and interim leader, pending the outcome of the investigation. He took on the role of temporary party leader after Kezia Dugdale’s resignation.
After the allegations against him emerged he had the Labour whip withdrawn in the Scottish Parliament.
Labour installed Jackie Baillie as interim boss until the leadership election was resolved.
Mr Rowley, 53, has denied the claims made against him and said he will fight to clear his name.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard today issued a statement saying: “Following on from Alex Rowley’s decision to resign from the position of deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party, I have asked Lesley Laird to assume the position on an interim basis.
“I have spoken to Alex and for the sake of his family he has decided to step down from this important role.
“He informs me that it is a decision he made some time ago. He is a loyal and experienced member of the Labour Group in the Scottish Parliament and will continue to play a part in rebuilding the Labour Party in Scotland.”
Mr Rowley’s 27-year-old daughter Danielle, who was elected MP for Midlothian in June, indicated she would be interested in succeeding her father as deputy Scottish leader.