THE so-called "pishgate" affair gripping Scottish Labour has claimed its first scalp, after Richard Leonard parted ways with the abrasive press officer who told a journalist concerns expressed by senior MSP Jackie Baillie were “pish”.

According to the Herald, Stephen Low, Leonard's spokesman, is no longer on the campaign team for the left-winger.

A campaign spokesperson told the paper: “Stephen was volunteering on media for the campaign and is no longer doing so.”

It marks the end of an extraordinary week in Scottish Labour’s recent history.

Leonard was accused of being involved in a left-wing plot, involving interim leader Alex Rowley and veteran MSP Neil Findlay, to oust Kezia Dugdale as leader.

That allegation came after a recording emerged of the bungling-caretaker-leader blurting out at party conference that he and others had been hoping to squeeze Dugdale out before the 2021 Holyrood election.

Baillie, a long serving Labour MSP and supporter of Leonard’s rival, Anas Sarwar, said the recording showed "evidence of a plot going on behind the scenes for months" calling it "a complete betrayal of the membership and every value we hold dear".

She demanded Leonard explain how much he knew about the plot.

Responding to the claims, Low sent an email, on behalf of the Leonard campaign, to a newspaper referring to the “latest Jackie Baillie pish.”

The Herald says Low, an ex-BBC journalist, was volunteering on the campaign while on sick leave from his day job at trade union Unison.

He told the paper: "I'm signed off work until the middle of October - I suggested to my employer that helping out with Richard's campaign could help me prepare for a return to work. They agreed.”

It's still early days for the Scottish Labour leadership contest. Ballots come out next week, and the result will be announced on November 18.