It has been announced that Ian Davidson, MP for Glasgow, will become the fourth contender in the race for deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Also competing for the position are Dumfries MSP Elaine Murray, MSP for North-East Scotland Lewis MacDonald, and Mr Davidson’s fellow Glasgow MP Anas Sarwar.
The position became available following the Scottish Parliament Election in May of this year, after which leader Iain Gray announced his resignation. Current deputy leader Johann Lamont is now a candidate for the leadership of the party.
Annabel Goldie, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and Tavish Scott, who held the same position in the Liberal Democrat Party, also left their posts after the SNP took a majority government, in what has been described as a ‘disastrous’ election.
In Westminster, Mr Davidson chairs the Scottish Affairs Committee, which will be holding inquiries into the Scottish independence referendum and the consequences it would have for Scotland.
However, the MP has caused controversy in the past by labelling the SNP “neo-fascists” in a House of Commons debate. More recently, he has been accused of threatening SNP MP for Banff and Buchan, and a fellow member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, Dr Eilidh Whiteford.
Dr Whiteford has claimed Davisdon threatened to give her a “doing” if discussions by the committee that were held in private session were leaked to the media. This has caused Dr Whiteford to withdraw from the committee, stating she will not return to its meetings unless Mr Davidson renounces his role as its chairman.
Dr Whiteford said of Mr Davidson that she did not “believe this behaviour is compatible with the position of chair of a select committee."
A complaint against Mr Davidson has been made to the Commons speaker by the SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson.
A conference was held in Glasgow on 29 October and marked the beginning of the Scottish Labour leadership campaign. The results will be announced on 17 December.