Scottish Labour leader Alex Rowley steps down over 'conduct'

Scottish Labour leader Alex Rowley steps down over 'conduct'

The former girlfriend of Scottish MP Rowley accused him of misconduct during and after their relationship and claimed that the 53-year-old politician has "destroyed her life".

Mr Rowley has also stepped down as deputy leader of the party, he said in a statement.

MSPs Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar have been slugging it out for the top job.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson confirmed: "Alex Rowley has stood aside as Interim and Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour and referred himself to the party's internal complaints procedure regarding allegations made against him".

"I totally refute these allegations and will take all steps necessary to clear my name", Rowley was quoted by media as saying.

"These allegations must be properly and thoroughly investigated in line with our party's procedures - and I will refer myself to the party so such an investigation can take place".

Scottish Labour's interim leader Alex Rowley has stepped down amid claims he made a woman's life "hell". He was voted in as deputy leader of the party in August 2015.

Alex Rowley MSP, who took up the role after former leader Kezia Dugdale resigned in August, said in a statement that he denied the allegations but would stand aside as both interim and deputy leader while they were investigated.

The father of three grown-up children is described as representing the left-wing of the Labour Party.