New leader for Scotland's Labour Party

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Indy Politics

The former Holyrood minister Iain Gray was elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party yesterday and used his victory speech to attack Alex Salmond. Mr Gray accused the SNP first minister of "taking pride in putting people down".

The former adviser to Alistair Darling won a three-way contest triggered by the resignation in June of Wendy Alexander.

Mr Gray beat the left-wing former justice minister Cathy Jamieson by 58 per cent to 42 per cent.

Contrasting his own career with the First Minister, Mr Gray, who did not mention the Prime Minister in his victory speech, said: "I am as Scottish as Alex Salmond, but our stories are different.

"We don't need a first minister who takes pride in putting people down.

"Scotland needs a first minister who burns with the passion of lifting people up."

The third candidate, the former health minister Andy Kerr, was eliminated after a first count in which no candidate achieved 50 per cent and the second preference votes of his supporters were then redistributed.

Some 300,000 Labour members voted in the three-part electoral college of MSPs, MPs and MEPs, party members, and Labour-affiliated unions.

MSP Johann Lamont defeated MSP Bill Butler by 60 per cent to 40 per cent to become deputy leader.