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Scottish Labour names Jackie Baillie as new deputy leader

The Dumbarton MSP beat Matt Kerr by almost 3,000 votes in the contest.

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Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie has been an MSP since 1999 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie has been an MSP since 1999 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie has been an MSP since 1999 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Jackie Baillie has been elected as deputy leader of Scottish Labour, following the close of ballots in the election at noon on Thursday.

The Dumbarton MSP took 10,311 votes in the ballot to defeat Matt Kerr, who received 7,528.

Her victory has been welcomed by party leader Richard Leonard, the TSSA trade union and UK deputy leadership hopeful Ian Murray MP.

Ms Baillie said:  “I am humbled by the support I have received from members and trade unionists across Scotland.

“When this election started, nobody expected the country to be in the grip of a global pandemic.

“Our collective focus will remain on the challenge that Covid-19 poses to the very fabric of our society.”

She added: “Our heartfelt thanks goes to the workers on the front-line – from doctors and nurses to social care staff, police officers and food retail workers.

“They are helping to care for us and keep us safe at a time of crisis and we should never forget their bravery and service.

“We will get through this together.”

Jackie will bring a renewed energy and determination to win so I am extremely pleased that she is joining the leadership team at this critical timeScottish Labour leader Richard Leonard

Ms Baillie said she is ready for the challenge of rebuilding trust in the party.

She said: “It will be some time before politics returns to normal but the next Scottish Parliament elections are now just over one year away.

“The Scottish Labour Party has a huge challenge ahead of us.

“Working together with Richard Leonard, our new UK leader and the entire Labour movement, I am ready for that challenge.

“I will work each and every day to repay the trust placed in me by members so that we rebuild our party and win back the trust of the people of Scotland.”

Mr Leonard said: “I am delighted that Jackie has been elected.

“We will unite the party and work closely together to get the party in shape to fight the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

“Jackie will bring a renewed energy and determination to win so I am extremely pleased that she is joining the leadership team at this critical time.”

PA