SCOTTISH Labour’s deputy leader apparently wanted Jeremy Corbyn to stay away from Scotland during the recent Holyrood election campaign as he was a “liability”.

Alex Rowley, a supporter of Corbyn, was accused of telling party colleagues north of the Border to keep the beleaguered Labour leader out of the country in the run up to May’s election.

The claims were made by former Labour MP Gemma Doyle on Twitter after Rowley wrote a blog post in support of Corbyn yesterday morning. Rowley’s intervention in the Westminster leadership stramash also puts him at odds with Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who has called on Corbyn to go. In his post, Rowley criticises of those colleagues who have attacked Corbyn.

Yesterday on his website Rowley wrote of how he was dismayed by the attempted coup against Corbyn.

He wrote that, in the wake of the Brexit vote, there “was a responsibility on every Labour MP to be a collective strong UK opposition offering leadership and direction. We are witnessing the Tories at their weakest, in turmoil over a leadership election whilst the UK is leaderless, and now we sadly find ourselves in the same situation.”

He continued, apparently suggesting the Scottish party consider independence: “Even if those within the Labour Party who think Corbyn’s leadership is weak were right (I personally don’t think they are), they had an obligation to the country to put their views aside to address the immediate crisis. We must stand united in comradeship and ensure that we do everything within our power to protect the country at this time. Every option must be explored.”

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Doyle tweeted Rowley, accusing him of being hypocritical and disloyal to Dugdale.

“Do you deny your feedback 2 campaign strategy meetings has been that Corbyn is a liability? Why r u being disloyal to Kez?” she asked.

“Oh it gets better. Apparently @Alex_RowleyMSP thought Corbyn was SUCH a liability he agreed he shouldn’t come 2 Scotland for campaign visits.

Doyle retweeted colleagues who suggested Rowley briefed against Jim Murphy in the general election of 2015. Others criticised him for quoting Nicola Sturgeon’s parliamentary attack on the Tories rather than Dugdale’s.

“Think Rowley can put his independent Labour Party to bed now if his loyalty is to UK leader over Scottish leader” she wrote.

On Thursday 18 MSPs, including former leaders Johann Lamont and Iain Gray, signed a letter calling for Corbyn to go. Another letter signed by Rowley, Neil Findlay and Richard Leonard called on colleagues to respect Corbyn’s mandate.

Rowley did not comment other than to tell The National he had “no intention of getting into the gutter on these issues.”