THE deputy leader of Scottish Labour has denied nepotism at the top of the party after his daughter was selected to stand in the general election.

Alex Rowley said he did not help Danielle Rowley become the candidate in Midlothian.

When Scottish Labour published its full candidate list at the weekend, which included Ms Rowley’s name for the first time, it said it reflected “the diversity of 21st century Scotland”.

Ms Rowley, 27, a campaign director at Shelter Scotland, faces a tough fight in Midlothian, which was won by the SNP’s Owen Thompson in 2015 with a majority of 9859 votes.

Mr Rowley, a former Labour councillor in Fife whose father was also a Labour councillor in Fife, was asked about the burgeoning political dynasty at a campaign event in Edinburgh.

He denied there was any perception of nepotism about the choice of his daughter, who also worked on his campaign to become deputy leader in 2015.

He said: “My daughter is an independent person in her own right. She works hard. She does her own thing. She went through college, university. She got a degree in journalism.

“She works for a national housing charity. So my daughter’s entitled to put herself forward.

“She didn’t ask my permission on whether she could stand or not, but I’m pleased that on her own initiative she took the decision to stand.”

Asked if he had canvassed on her behalf, he said: “No, no, absolutely not.”

Asked if his position as deputy leader might have opened doors for Ms Rowley, he said: “I think it’s pretty insulting to a young woman to make that suggestion.

“My daughter’s a campaigner. She’s an activist. She didn’t phone and ask my permission.

“She phoned and told she was putting herself forward. I had nothing to do with the vetting panel. She was selected and I’m quite pleased for her - a young woman in her own right.”

Labour’s candidates were chosen by a seven-member panel of its ruling Scottish Executive, including trade union and constituency members, and every decision was made unanimously.

Labour had the only father and daughter MSPs in the last Holyrood parliament, with Michael and Siobhan McMahon in central Scotland.

The current parliament has Green John Finnie and his SNP daughter Ruth Maguire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is also married to the SNP’s chief executive Peter Murrell.