SCOTTISH Labour’s leading left-winger yesterday said new members should be allowed to pick candidates for the Holyrood elections, paving the way for a cull of centre-right MSPs.

Neil Findlay, who was Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign manager in Scotland, said it was “logical” for members who joined in the summer, at the height of Corbynmania, to have a say.

Scottish members who joined after the general election have so far been able to vote for the new UK leader, the new Scottish leader, and are able to stand as candidates next May.

However the so-called “freeze date” for candidate selections was set for early July, meaning thousands of members who have joined since will be denied a vote when the all-important ranking of list candidates gets underway in the New Year.

Neil, a Lothians list MSP, said: “New members were able to vote for the leader. Therefore, I think it would be logical for those new members to be able to vote for candidates.

“If you can become a candidate, it makes sense that you should be able to vote.”

It is understood the issue will come before Scottish Labour’s executive committee soon.

One proposal is to re-open the freeze date to give more members a say, but with the leadership retaining some control of the process by vetting potential candidates.

Neil denied there was a wider agenda to install left-wing candidates in order to help replace Kezia Dugdale with a left-wing leader after the election: “What utter tripe. Not at all.”

However the prospect of letting Corbynistas pick candidates has alarmed MSPs seen on the centre and right of Scottish Labour, who fear they are being lined up for the chop.

There was talk in the bars of this weekend’s conference of a “coup” plot against Dugdale.

One centre-right source admitted Findlay’s logic was sound, but also claimed there was a bigger agenda at play, with slates of left-wingers being organised for the list rankings.

“It’s a scam. It’s all about getting rid of people seen as being on the right.”

However a trade union source said the right was becoming paranoid, and was trying to smear the left by accusing them of constant plotting.

Talk of a coup against Dugdale was “absolute mischief-making bollocks”, the person said.

“I don’t see any appetite to get rid of Kezia. She’s in it for the long haul.”