TWO Scottish Labour MPs have lost selection battles to stay at Westminster at the next general election, which is expected next year.

In the new constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Irene Adams was defeated in a ballot last night by Jim Sheridan. At the new seat of Glasgow East, the candidate selected was David Marshall, ending the parliamentary career of Jimmy Wray.

Mrs Adams, 57, has represented Paisley North at Westminster since a by-election in 1990, when she replaced her late husband, Allen Adams. She is chairwoman of the Scottish select committee, and took a high-profile stance in her constituency against organised crime and drugs.

Mr Sheridan, 52, has been in the Commons only since the 2001 general election. He was a trade union official before winning the West Renfrewshire constituency.

The Glasgow East contest pitted two Westminster veterans and long-time friends against each other.

Mr Wray, MP for Glasgow Baillieston, was angered by what he saw as his betrayal by Mr Marshall, 63. Mr Wray claimed Mr Marshall had told him he would stand down from parliament, 25 years after becoming MP for Glasgow Shettleston, and then allegedly changed his mind.

However, with Mr Wray suffering the effects of a stroke last year, his health was seen as a decisive factor in the ballot last night.

The number of Scottish seats in the Commons will fall at the next election from 72 to 59.

Before last night, the only other Labour selection battle to go to a vote was in Aberdeen North, where the sitting MP, Frank Doran, defeated Malcolm Savidge, MP for Aberdeen Central.

Facing further damaging selection battles, 10 MPs have voluntarily stood down, or are heading for pastures new, such as Helen Liddell in Lanarkshire, Tam Dalyell in West Lothian, and George Foulkes in Ayrshire.

Brian Wilson, former minister, announced this week he is not to stand again, leaving a vacancy in North Ayrshire and Arran. Mrs Adams, Mr Wray, and Mr Savidge could bid to win that seat but there is a widespread expectation in the party that someone from outside Westminster will stand.