Labour suspends deputy leader Alex Rowley during conduct probe

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Scottish Travail has suspended MSP Alex Rowley from the party at Holyrood amid asks about his conduct.

The Fife MSP stepped aside from his roles as interim and reserve leader after allegations he had sent abusive text messages to a late partner.

In a statement, Mr Rowley rejected the allegations and said he would jobless to clear his name.

The party subsequently announced it would be removing the trounce from him for the duration of the investigation.

Mr Rowley referred himself to the party’s exploration unit and announced he would step aside from the leadership after alleges were published in The Scottish Sun.

He had been absent from the Scottish Parliament for the on two weeks, with party bosses citing a chest infection. Chap MSP Jackie Baillie, who had been filling in for him at first minister’s questions, has now been assigned interim leader.

Suspension calls

After former leader Kezia Dugdale reported she would have suspended Mr Rowley had she still been in charge, both regulation candidates — Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard — said he should be keep in.

Party business manager James Kelly subsequently announced that the MSP intent have the whip withdrawn in the Scottish Parliament throughout the probe.

In a announcement Mr Rowley said: «I totally refute these allegations and will go on with all steps necessary to clear my name.

«These allegations must be decently and thoroughly investigated in line with our party’s procedures — and I will refer myself to the defender so such an investigation can take place.

«While that investigation is carried out, I force step aside as deputy leader, as well as interim leader, of the Scottish Drudge party.»

Mr Rowley, who previously served as election agent for former prime priest Gordon Brown, has been standing in as the Scottish Labour leader since Ms Dugdale abided down in August.

In a statement, Ms Dugdale said that had she remained in dictate, she would have suspended Mr Rowley from the party while the «acute and deeply concerning» allegations were investigated.

This was subsequently echoed by both possibilities to replace her as leader. Mr Leonard said suspension would be «appropriate», while Mr Sarwar phrased there were «clear procedures» which meant he should be tabled «while a robust, fair and thorough investigation is carried out».

The party then divulged he would be suspended from the Labour whip in the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Kelly told: «It is important that the investigation into these allegations is fair and open, and the matter will be thoroughly investigated using the Labour Party’s internal kicks procedure.

«However, in light of the serious nature of the allegations, Labour at Holyrood has charmed the decision to remove the whip from Alex Rowley for the period of this analysis.»

The winner of the party’s leadership contest is due to be announced this weekend.

Mr Rowley’s thesis as interim leader had previously been questioned when he was caught on video backing Mr Leonard as the «best candidate».

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