ANOTHER Labour constituency MSP has joined the fight for list slots for next May's Holyrood election, as an internal battle within the party intensifies.

James Kelly, MSP for Rutherglen where he only narrowly saw off a challenge from the SNP in 2011, will join the fight for a ranking in the Glasgow region.

It follows Alex Rowley reneging on a pledge he made repeatedly before being elected deputy leader not to take an automatic place at the top of a list that he would be entitled to if her won. Mr Rowley's u-turn means he will take top slot in the mid-Scotland and Fife region.

With polls predicting that the SNP will win almost every constituency next month, regional lists represent the most likely route to Holyrood for Labour politicians. The seats are allocated through a system of proportional representation with constituency seats first past the post.

Former Scottish Party deputy leader, Anas Sarwar, has also announced that he is standing for the Glasgow list.

Mr Kelly, who has held a number of front bench positions since first being elected in 2007, said: "Members have the opportunity to set the direction of Scottish Labour for the next five years: to select candidates who will take the fight to the SNP.

"For too long Scotland has had a government more interested in fighting the Labour party than fighting for social justice. We have a first minister who has voted against paying public workers the living wage, against a publicly-owned railway, who presides over a police force in crisis and an NHS performing at its worst for years.

"Scotland needs a strong Labour party more than ever before. I'm standing for selection to the Glasgow list because I believe Scotland deserves better than this government, and it needs a strong group of Labour MSPs who won't let the SNP have it all their own way."

Meanwhile, Mr Kelly said Celtic has the opportunity to "make a commitment" to hundreds of the football club's staff by becoming an accredited living wage employer.

He called on the Celtic board to sign up to the living wage which was raised from £7.85 to £8.25 an hour earlier this month.

A club spokesman said Mr Kelly had "no knowledge of the workings of Celtic" and claimed he appeared to be using the issue for his own political purposes.