MP for North Ayrshire and Arran Katy Clark is to stand for election as deputy leader of Scottish Labour.

In a statement released on Saturday she said: “I wish to pay tribute to both Johann Lamont and Anas Sarwar for the leadership they have provided to Scottish Labour over the last three years.

“This however is not about individuals.

“We must recognise that Scottish politics has changed and it can’t be business as usual.

“The vast majority of people want a secure job, a decent home and access to good quality public services.

“This is prevented for too many by wealth being held in the hands of a minority.

“It is unacceptable in the 21st century that people have to queue at a foodbank to feed their children.

“These are the issues I will be addressing throughout the campaign.

“I am standing to be Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party to help deliver the social and political change that the people of Scotland are demanding.

“Johann and Anas have given us strong leadership over the last three years but after a hard-fought referendum campaign we need to acknowledge that we cannot go back to business as usual.

“To reclaim the ground we have lost we must recognise that the mainstream of Scottish opinion is opposed to Trident, austerity, privatisation and attacks on welfare.

“We all need a secure job, a decent home and good public services but this is prevented for too many by so much wealth and power being held in the hands of a few.

“Labour has a proven track record of fighting for Scotland.

"The National Health Service, the Equal Pay Act, health and safety legislation, the National Minimum Wage and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament are just some of the examples of measures taken by Labour Governments that have improved the lives of people across Scotland.

“We now need to demonstrate how Scottish Labour will continue to fight for Scotland.

“We need to build council houses to tackle the housing crisis, stop privatisation and redistribute wealth and power within Scotland.” The left leaning MP is likely to run on a joint slate with Neil Findlay who has already announced his candidacy for leadership.

The deputy leader position has become vacant following deputy and stand-in leader Anas Sarwar’s decision to stand aside.

Ms Clark, 47, was elected to Westminster at the 2005 general election for the new seat of North Ayrshire and Arran with a majority of 11,296.

She joined the Labour Party when she was 17 and before entering parliament was a solicitor with the union UNISON.

Her great-great grandfather Alexander Sloan – a former coal miner – was Labour MP for South Ayrshire from 1939 until his death in 1946.

She has a reputation as a rebel within the party, most recently voting against the air strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

She has received the backing of UNISON and MP for Central Ayrshire Brian Donohoe who was one of nominators.

Mr Donohoe said: “The contest for leader has several candidates however, the contest for deputy leader was not as popular and as Katy required 10 nominations I gave her mine to ensure we did not end up with a coronation like that of Nicola Sturgeon who took the SNP leader’s job without contest.

“I look forward to the hustings which will now take place and will cast my vote according to how the candidates perform.” Ms Clark will be standing against Kezia Dugdale MSP for Lothian. Sarah Boyack, Neil Findlay and Jim Murphy are standing for the leadership.

Results will be announced on Saturday, December 13.