A majority of the Scottish Labour panel set up to vet new members and supporters who join during the leadership contest are on the Left of the party.

It is understood that moderates only account for three of the places on the seven-person body, which is chaired by interim leader Alex Rowley.

A party source said the balance of the panel would make a purge of left-wing recruits “very unlikely”.

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In another development, it has emerged that the two candidates are not getting the email addresses of party members, a decision that has irked some of candidate Anas Sarwar’s supporters.

Sarwar and left-wing MSP Richard Leonard are vying to replace Kezia Dugdale as leader in a contest that will end in mid-November.

The party is using the race as a recruitment drive and new members and supporters have until October 9th to join and get a vote in the contest.

However, fears exist on the moderate wing of the party that the system will be used by Leonard’s supporters to embark on a mass sign up.

It was reported yesterday that Unite, Labour’s biggest trade union supporter, had signed up around 2,700 of its members in one weekend to its “political levy”, which must be paid if an individual wants a vote.

A verification panel has been created to oversee the process and ensure the party’s opponents are not signing up and skewing the result.

Of the seven members of the panel, it is understood that the moderates are in a minority.

However, an insider on the Left said Sarwar’s campaign was also expected to recruit a significant number of members.

Party officials have decided that Sarwar and Leonard will get the phone numbers and postal addresses of party members and supporters, but not email addresses.

Campaign emails are being sent out by party headquarters on behalf of the candidates. It has been suggested that the restriction makes it harder to contact members - particularly in tailoring messages - and gives the candidate with the better phone banking operation an advantage.