SEVEN North Ayrshire Labour councillors have helped get a Glasgow councillor through to the next round of Scottish Labour’s deputy leadership race.

Cardonald Councillor Matt Kerr, Jackie Baillie MSP and Pauline McNeill MSP all received the required amount of nominations to reach the second stage as the party searches for Lesley Laird’s replacement after she lost her Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat in December’s General Election.

North Ayrshire Labour councillors; Joe Cullinane, Louise McPhater, Donald Reid, John Sweeney, John Bell, Jim Montgomerie and Robert Foster all nominated Matt Kerr while Alex Gallagher nominated Jackie Baillie MSP.

Despite receiving enough nominations in the first round Pauline McNeill MSP announced she was pulling out of the contest.

To qualify for a place on the final ballot paper, the remaining candidates will now each have to receive nominations from either at least five per cent of Constituency Labour Parties, or at least three affiliates (at least two of which must be trade union affiliates) comprising five per cent of fully paid up affiliated membership.

The ballot will open on February 21 and close on April 2 with the result being announced on Friday April 3.