LABOUR MSP Pauline McNeill has announced she is running for Scottish deputy leader, after a bid to do the job on a joint basis with one of her fellow MSPs failed.

McNeill and fellow MSP Jackie Baillie had originally hoped to be able to make a joint bid for the post – but this was ruled out by Labour Party chiefs. Baillie has already announced that she is putting herself forward, saying she “can’t sit on the sidelines any longer and watch my party decline”.

Now NcNeill is set to run against her – becoming the third candidate for the job, with Dundee councillor Michael Marra having already thrown his hat into the ring.

McNeill, left, an MSP for the Glasgow region who returned to Holyrood in 2016 after losing her Glasgow Kelvin seat in the 2011 election, confirmed her bid on Twitter.

She said: “After considering my position overnight on the Scottish Labour Deputy Leader vacancy, I have decided to run. I appreciate the messages of support for the joint ticket. I will now be seeking nominations today.”

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A Scottish Labour spokesman said party procedures meant “individual Scottish Labour councillors, MSPs and MPs will each be able to nominate themselves or one Scottish Labour councillor, MSP or MP for the position of deputy leader”.

However, Glasgow Labour councillor Eva Murray said a joint bid by Baillie and McMcNeill could have given the party a “balanced and formidable deputy leadership team”.

She questioned the rules, saying: “Why couldn’t we have two brilliant elected members job sharing? Let’s shake things up, let’s do things differently.”

The contest follows a disastrous General Election for Labour with the party coming fourth in Scotland, losing six of its seven MPs. Leader Richard Leonard has launched a review of the party’s policies on both Brexit and Scotland’s constitutional future.

Last night Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr became the fourth candidate to enter the contest.