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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 August 2007, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Alexander remains only candidate
Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander is the only declared leadership candidate so far
A move to secure a left wing candidate to challenge Wendy Alexander's bid to become the Scottish Labour Party's new leader has failed.

The Campaign for Socialism group said it had secured nominations from four MSPs to make a challenge.

But that falls short of the six MSPs which are required.

Ms Alexander, the Paisley North MSP, is so far the only name in the frame. A challenger would have to be found by the close of nominations on Tuesday.

About 300 members of the Campaign for Socialism - which includes five Labour MSPs - met in Glasgow on Sunday to determine whether they had the necessary support for a challenger.

Gordon McKay, the group's spokesman, maintained it was important that the party had an opportunity for a debate on various policy areas - and said his members would be pushing for that regardless of the leadership result.

We are two MSPs short of getting a name on a ballot paper, therefore at the moment we do not have a candidate
Gordon McKay
Campaign for Socialism

He said: "It is important that the party has a debate around the issues affecting Scotland - poverty, privatisation, a sustainable economy and devolution of power.

"We believe a leadership election is an opportunity for debate.

"MSPs however are the gatekeepers to this process and they can allow or prevent that debate from taking place.

"Currently there are four MSPs willing to support that process and support a challenge based on traditional Labour values and those articulated by the trade union movement.

May election

"We are two MSPs short of getting a name on a ballot paper, therefore at the moment we do not have a candidate.

"However, we still hope this can happen and we will continue this campaign until Tuesday."

Ms Alexander, who is the sister of Westminster MP and International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander, launched her campaign on Friday.

Former Scottish Labour leader Jack McConnell resigned last Wednesday with immediate effect.

It followed the party's defeat at the hands of the SNP in May's Holyrood election.


SEE ALSO
Labour was 'at fault' for defeat
17 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Left-wing ponders leadership bid
16 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Labour front bench at-a-glance
16 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Alexander to stand for leadership
15 Aug 07 |  Scotland
McConnell quits Labour leadership
15 Aug 07 |  Scotland
SNP pips Labour in Holyrood vote
04 May 07 |  Scotland

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