Scottish Labour in fresh chaos as interim leader Alex Rowley quits over abuse allegations

Posted On: 
15th November 2017

Alex Rowley dramatically quit as interim Scottish Labour leader today over an allegation he sent abusive messages to an ex-partner.

Alex Rowley at the 2015 Scottish Labour conference
Andrew Milligan/PA

An anonymous woman said the MSP had “destroyed" her life and left her “a shadow of the woman I once was”.

Mr Rowley – who has also resigned as deputy leader of the party – was appointed interim leader after Kezia Dugdale quit in the wake of the June general election.

He said in a statement today: "I totally refute these allegations and will take all steps necessary to clear my name.

"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. 

"While that investigation is carried out, I will step aside as deputy leader, as well as interim leader, of the Scottish Labour party."

The woman in question told the Scottish Sun of the messages: “Sometimes they were blank, others said things for example, ‘Hello you evil b*****d’.”

The 49-year-old mother said she endured three years of abuse and revealed she named him to the police in 2014, adding: “He was a control freak and enough was enough.”

She added: "He destroyed my life. I’m a shadow of the woman I once was.”

A Scottish Labour Party spokesperson said this morning: "Alex Rowley has stood aside as Interim and Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour and referred himself to the Party's internal complaints procedure regarding allegations made against him."

The race to succeed Ms Dugdale ends on Friday with the winner announced at the weekend. MSPs Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar have been slugging it out for the top job.