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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2007, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Left-wing ponders leadership bid
Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander is the only confirmed candidate
Left-wing Labour supporters are to consider challenging Wendy Alexander for the leadership of the party in Scotland.

The Campaign for Socialism has called an emergency meeting this weekend which will discuss the possibility of fielding a candidate.

Any nominee would require the support of six MSPs to force a contest.

Ms Alexander said she would stand for the leadership after Jack McConnell announced his resignation.

The former enterprise minister is the only declared candidate after two other potential contenders, Andy Kerr and Margaret Curran, ruled themselves out.

Ballot paper

However, the secretary of the Campaign for Socialism, Gordon Mackay, told BBC Radio Scotland he was confident that the left would put forward a candidate.

"We are absolutely confident that they will be going on the ballot paper and we will see a change in direction in Scottish politics," he said.

"We are putting up a candidate to win.

"We need to have a debate, but there's no point going into an election believing you are going to lose."

It will be a big challenge but it is one I am willing to undertake if I win the backing of the Labour membership
Wendy Alexander

Ms Alexander is due to launch her leadership campaign on Friday.

Confirming her candidacy on Wednesday, she said: "We can use our time in opposition to reform and reorganise the party in Scotland and find new ideas to reconnect with the people of Scotland.

"It will be a big challenge but it is one I am willing to undertake if I win the backing of the Labour membership."

The party's procedures committee is to meet in the coming days to arrange the first stages in the selection process.

BBC Scotland's political editor Brian Taylor said it could take a couple of months to choose a new leader if Ms Alexander faced a challenge.

If she went forward unopposed it would still take a month for the party to go through its election procedure.

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