Alex Rowley allegations 'embarrassing' for Scottish Labour, says Times columnist

Alex Rowley allegations 'embarrassing' for Scottish Labour, says Times columnist

Alex Rowley allegations 'embarrassing' for Scottish Labour, says Times columnist

Rowley had taken over the party leadership temporarily after Kezia Dugdale resigned, but now The Scottish Sun has reported on allegations of emotional abuse made by a woman believed to be his former partner.

The Labour Party announced that Rowley had "referred himself to the party's internal complaints procedure".

She said: "Had I remained in the position of leader of the Scottish Labour Party I would not have hesitated to suspend Alex Rowley from the party while these allegations are fully investigated".

It has now emerged that journalists contacted Scottish Labour about the allegations on 10 October, five weeks before they eventually appeared in print, but received letters from lawyers acting on behalf of Rowley which warned against publication. "Sexual harassment and abuse is never acceptable".

The woman said she had been inspired to speak out after other women had come forward to complain about misconduct by politicians at both Holyrood and Westminster.

The Labour Party in Scotland suspended interim leader Alex Rowley from its parliamentary group Wednesday, shortly after he stepped down from the role amid an inquiry into claims of abusive conduct towards a former partner.

One of Ms Baillie's first acts was to confirm the suspension of Mr Rowley from the Scottish Labour...

Mr Sarwar also said a suspension would be "appropriate" to ensure confidence in the party's procedures, describing the allegations as "distressing and deeply concerning".

Rowley denies the claims, and has insisted he will "take all steps" to clear his name.

However his left-wing rival, Richard Leonard, who is backed by Mr Rowley, and whose campaign manager is Mr Rowley's daughter, flip-flopped on the issue.

"These allegations must be properly and thoroughly investigated in line with our party's procedures - and I will refer myself to the party so such an investigation can take place".

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