Southsiders for the top?

THE battle for leadership of Scottish Labour could turn out to be a tussle between southside politicians.

Following rumours that Ken Macintosh had pulled out of the race, Glasgow South MP Tom Harris announced his intention to stand, as he believes he has the “qualities needed to lead the party and change its culture”.

Tom Harris told The Extra that he came across these rumours of Mr Mactinosh’s withdrawal “on twitter”, however, Eastwood MSP Mr Macintosh has dismissed these unsubstantiated reports.

He said: “There’s currently a lot of speculation about the Scottish Labour leadership, very little of which seems to be accurate.

“Nominations have not yet been opened so I have not yet put forward my name — but I have certainly not withdrawn”.

Mr Harris believes the MSP would make an “excellent candidate”.

The MP will have to wait until an internal party review, led by East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy and MSP Sarah Boyack, decides whether MPs will be able to lead the Holyrood based party.

Yesterday, Jim Murphy’s office were unable to confirm or deny whether the MP intends to throw his hat in the ring.

Johann Lamont, an MSP in neighbouring Pollok and currently deputy leader is currently the bookies favourite to take over from Iain Gray.

Meanwhile, it is expected that West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw will next week formally confirm his intention to take over leadership of the Scottish Conservatives.

n As well as perhaps positioning themselves for a leadership bid, Mr Macintosh and Mr Murphy are also trying to rally the community to attend their march against the Loganswell incinerator.

Police have given permission for the first mass demonstration in Newton Mearns for more than a decade.

The march will set off from Mearns Primary car park at 2pm and walk to the park behind Fairweather Hall where a rally will be held.

Mr Murphy told The Extra: “Hundreds of people are already coming along, it is crucial that you don’t leave it up to someone else to protest against these plans.

“If you’re against the incinerator come along on the fourth – it’s your chance to say no to this disastrous proposal”.

Rally organisers are still looking for kids entertainers such as face painters and jugglers to volunteer their services on the day. If you can be of help, please get in touch either by email on or by telephone on 621 2080.

The march has come under further attack from local Conservatives, as East Renfrewshire’s leader of the opposition Jim Swift, who has accused the Labour men of “not being interested in working with other parties.

“The demonstration is motivated by nothing but self interest”.