NEWS
16/12/2017 17:02 GMT | Updated 16/12/2017 17:10 GMT

Alex Rowley Resigns As Scottish Labour Party Deputy Leader

'I am in politics to fight for social, political and economic change'.

PA Wire/PA Images
Alex Rowley has resigned as deputy leader of Scottish Labour

Alex Rowley has announced he won’t resume the role of deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

It comes after the Fife MSP stepped down from the role over allegations he had sent abusive text messages to a former partner.

Rowley confirmed on Saturday that an internal investigation had “discharged” the case, but he said he now intends to work to clear his name over the allegations.

In a statement released on Saturday, Rowley 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.

“This means the only opportunity to do so would have been through the media and I am not prepared to cause that distress to my family.

“I am in politics to fight for social, political and economic change to improve the lives of working people. I will continue that work as a Labour MSP for the region of Mid Scotland and Fife.”

Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard said: “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.”

It comes just four months after former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale quit.