Jackson goes for top Tory spot

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LOCAL MSP Jackson Carlaw announced his intention to stand for the Tory leadership in Scotland this week.

The 52-year-old could soon be joined in the fight to succeed Annabel Goldie by Ruth Davidson and Murdo Fraser.

The MSP for West of Scotland was elected to Holyrood in 2007 and has been involved with the party for more than 25 years.

The West of Scotland MSP told The Extra: “My intention is to stand and I am confident I can secure the required 100 votes.

“I am satisfied I will have the support to stand and I will formally announce my candidacy in the coming weeks”.

Mr Carlaw was unable to wrestle the Eastwood seat from rival Ken Macintosh’s grasp in May, polling 33.4 per cent of the vote compared to the Labour candidates 39.7%. His bid for leadership has already come to the attention of political rivals.

Glasgow list MSP Humza Yousaf took to social networking site twitter to criticise Mr Carlaw’s decision.

The Newton Mearns man said: “Seems bizarre that a guy who polled such an embarrassing result at last elections would even consider it”.

However, Mr Carlaw has found support from local party members, including Neilston, Uplawmoor and Newton Mearns councillor Charlie Gilbert.

He told The Extra: “It’s good news for the party. Jackson has lots of experience and he did as well as he could in the last election.

“The reason he lost was poor turnout and that is nothing to do with him as a candidate.

“He will have plenty of support within the Scottish conservatives and I believe he has a good chance of being appointed leader”.

Ken Macintosh refused to comment on Mr Carlaw’s announcement, however, he could be another local MSP seeking a leadership role.

Following the election, Mr Macintosh told The Extra: “I do not know what I will do yet, it is too early to speculate. However, something needs to be done about Scottish Labour”.

The final deadline for submissions to the Labour party’s internal review is September 9 and lame-duck leader Iain Gray announced his intention to stand down in “autumn”.

n Yesterday bookmaker Paddy Power announced their latest betting on the next leaders of both parties.

For the Tories, Jackson Carlaw is second in the running at 2/1, with Ruth Davidson the favourite at 6/4. Currently in third spot is Murdo Fraser at 5/2.

Ken Macintosh comes in second place for Labour at 5/4, closely behind Jackie Baillie, who is currently at 4/7. Richard Baker is in third place on 9/1.