THE rift between Kezia Dugdale and her deputy looked irreconcilable yesterday, after he announced he was supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as UK Labour leader.

Despite Dugdale condemning Corbyn as “not competent”, Alex Rowley confirmed he would be voting for him in the upcoming leadership contest against Owen Smith.

The Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP told the Sunday Herald: “I will be voting for Corbyn. I voted for Corbyn ten months ago on the basis that he wanted to bring about a new type of politics and I still want to see that new type of politics created. So I will be voting for him, but I won’t be getting involved in any campaign for him.”

Rowley’s announcement underlined the split at the top of Scottish Labour.

The Sunday Herald recently revealed relations between Dugdale and Rowley, who were elected Scottish Labour leader and deputy just 11 months ago, had broken down over the latter's behaviour. Rowley was seen to have undermined Dugdale by declaring personal positions on the constitution and economy without her approval.

Rowley was also accused yesterday of taunting his boss by holding a meeting with Corbyn appointee Dave Anderson at Holyrood on Thursday, just days after Dugdale had welcomed Anderson’s anti-Corbyn predecessor into her shadow cabinet. On Monday, Dugdale made her friend Ian Murray, the MP for Edinburgh South, her Westminster spokesman, saying he had “a crucial role to play” in the Commons.

Rowley’s public show of support for Anderson so soon after Murray’s appointment has been seen as another snub to Dugdale who is currently in America at the Democratic National Convention.