Defeated Scottish Labour Party leader resigns

The leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jack McConnell resigned Wednesday, triggering the centre-left party's search for a fourth head in less than 10 years.

Defeated Scottish Labour Party leader resigns
The leader of the Scottish Labour Party Jack McConnell resigned Wednesday, triggering the centre-left party's search for a fourth head in less than 10 years.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown Brown's office said later that McConnell had accepted an invitation from the prime minister to be Britain's next high commissioner in Malawi, once its current holder steps down.

McConnell was in charge for the May 3 elections for the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh that saw Labour lose by one seat to the Scottish National Party, ending its 50-year stranglehold on politics in Scotland.

The 47-year-old, who was first minister in the 129-seat legislature from 2001 to this year, is to remain a lawmaker but also work for a non-governmental organisation specialising in education projects in developing countries.

Wendy Alexander, the sister of Britain's International Development Secretary and key ally of Brown, Douglas Alexander, is widely tipped to be McConnell's successor.

"I believe that he will make an excellent representative of the United Kingdom government in Malawi" because of his long-standing interest in education and anti-poverty initiatives, said Brown in a statement.

The current British High Commissioner to Malawi, Richard Wildash, is due to complete his tour in early 2009, meaning that if McConnell takes up the post immediately, a by-election is likely for his seat.

The next Scottish Parliament elections are not due until 2011 at the latest.

AFP
Last Mod: 15 Ağustos 2007, 19:24
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