Jackie Baillie elected deputy leader of Scottish Labour

The Dumbarton MSP defeated Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr by 10,311 votes to 7528 to win the role.

Jackie Baillie elected deputy leader of Scottish Labour Jackie Baillie MSP
Jackie Baillie: I'm humbled at the support.

Jackie Baillie has been elected deputy leader of Scottish Labour, replacing former MP Lesley Laird.

The Dumbarton MSP – who entered the Scottish Parliament when it opened in 1999 – defeated Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr by 10,311 votes to 7528 to win the role.

Turnout was 50.6%.

Baillie previously served as social justice minister from 2000 to 2001 under former Labour first minister Henry McLeish.

More recently, she was Scottish Labour’s economy spokeswoman until she was ousted in a reshuffle in 2018 by party leader Richard Leonard, who took the economy brief for himself.

Her appointment as Scottish Labour deputy leader comes as the UK party is set to reveal its new leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn.

UK Labour is also electing a new deputy, with Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray in the running.

Baillie said she was “humbled by the support” shown by party members and trade unionists.

The MSP continued: “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: “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.”

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.”