Dumbarton MSP Jackie Ballie is a step closer to becoming Scottish Labour’s next deputy leader.

The stalwart politician on Friday secured a clear majority of Constituency Labour Party (CLP) nominations to progress to the next round of the contest.

Ms Baillie received more than half the nominations, earning a clear majority. She is facing Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr in the deputy leadership battle.

The local MSP secured a spread of nominations, representing rural and urban Scotland, trade unions (GMB, USDAW and Community), as well as two from Scottish Labour affiliated organisations (Scottish Co-operative Party, BAME Labour).

Ms Baillie said: “I am humbled by the level of support I have received from Scottish Labour members across the country, winning nominations from Western Isles to Dumfriesshire.

“The message that these members are sending is that they want change and more of the same just won’t do.

“The future of our party is hanging in the balance. We experienced two crushing defeats in 2019 and the Scottish electorate did not feel able to put their trust in Scottish Labour.

“The route back for Scottish Labour is not through one constituency or one community, we need to win in every part of Scotland.

“My aim is to unite the party and bring members together from all across the political spectrum, in order to rebuild the party for the future.”

Mr Kerr, who represents Cardonald ward, says he is standing for deputy leader to provide “new approach, and new answers for the new decade”, urging Scottish Labour to stop making the same decisions after each electoral defeat.

Members of the Scottish Labour Party will be sent ballot papers on February 24. Votes can be cast for the party’s next deputy leader until April 2.