Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 17:50 UK

Who are the Labour contenders?

Wendy Alexander has resigned as Scottish Labour leader amid an ongoing row over donations to her leadership campaign - but who are the possible contenders to replace her?

Nominations have now closed and three candidates go forward to face a one-member, one-ballot postal vote.

The BBC Scotland news website looks at the contenders.


Andy Kerr

Andy Kerr (Pic by Scottish Parliament)

Considered a front-runner for the leadership, Andy Kerr was a senior member of the previous Scottish government.

Like many of his peers the Labour MSP, recognisable by his silvery hair and trendy spectacles, had a background in local government and union involvement before being elected to represent the East Kilbride constituency in 1999.

As health minister, he embarked upon radical reforms aimed at improving and modernising the NHS and tackling the issue of waiting lists - a favourite subject of the SNP in opposition - as well as problems with the NHS 24 helpline service.

Mr Kerr, also a former finance minister, previously advised the then Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety, who later became an MSP and minister.

Cathy Jamieson

Cathy Jamieson

Following her resignation as Scottish Labour's deputy leader of more than seven years, dating back to Jack McConnell's time in the top job, Cathy Jamieson has launched her leadership bid.

Like Mr Kerr she was also a high-profile minister in the last administration and, during her time with the justice brief between 2003-07, she presided over high-profile campaigns to stamp out anti-social behaviour, remove drug dealers from communities and tackle Scotland's so called "booze and blades" culture.

The MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon valley, who says she makes "no apologies" for speaking in a broad Ayrshire accent, also served as education minister and, before politics, was a social worker and holds a degree in fine art.

Iain Gray

Iain Gray (Pic by Scottish Parliament)

Iain Gray was the first MSP to officially announce his bid for the Scottish Labour leadership.

Seen as a confident parliamentary performer, the former Scottish minister lost his Holyrood seat, Edinburgh Pentlands, to Conservative David McLetchie in 2003.

Mr Gray returned in 2007 when the Labour-held East Lothian seat came up for grabs and quickly picked up a Labour frontbench role, speaking on finance issues.

However, it is unclear whether the former voluntary sector worker has a high enough profile, having only just returned to parliament, and how his candidacy might go down with Scottish Labour, whose roots lie traditionally in the West - rather than the East - of Scotland.

That said, not being from the traditional heartland could work in Mr Gray's favour if the party is looking for change.


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