THE daughter of Scottish Labour’s acting leader is to be the campaign chief for one of the candidates in the contest to replace Kezia Dugdale.

In a move which could be perceived as a conflict of interest, Danielle Rowley will run the leadership bid for left-winger Richard Leonard.

Ms Rowley, 27, who was elected as the MP for Midlothian in June, is the daughter of Alex Rowley, who became interim leader after Ms Dugdale quit last week.

Her appointment comes after Mr Rowley promised to remain neutral in the contest.

Asked if he would take sides in the contest, despite his closeness to Mr Leonard, Mr Rowley said on Friday: “I will clearly be doing the role of acting leader, which is not to get involved in such matters and I won’t be involved in such matters, I won’t be supporting anyone.”

Ms Rowley previously worked on her father’s campaign to be deputy party leader in 2015.

Mr Leonard, 55, a former GMB organiser who was elected as a Central Scotland MSP last year, is the pro-Corbyn candidate in the race.

He is standing against centrist Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar, a multi-millionaire who sends his children to a £10,000-a-year private school and who is running as a unity candidate.

Despite signing a letter last year calling on Jeremy Corbyn to quit as UK Labour leader, Mr Sarwar now says he wants him to be Prime Minister.

He is backed by around half of Scottish Labour’s 32 parliamentarians in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, though the choice of leader lies with around 31,000 party members.

Ms Rowley, a former campaign director at housing charity Shelter, said: “I am very proud to be asked to lead Richard’s campaign team.

“Richard has the vision and ambition to transform Scotland into a country where every person has a job, a decent home and a good education.

“Where people can live in a caring and prosperous society and where no one is abandoned or left behind. These will be our priorities as we set out Richard’s vision.”

Mr Leonard added: “I am delighted that someone with the talent and commitment of Danielle has agreed to head my campaign.

She will lead the army of volunteers who are contacting me by the minute signing up to help.

“I look forward to working with them taking forward my vision for real change.”

Earlier this year, as deputy Scottish Labour leader, Mr Rowley was forced to deny nepotism at the top of the party after his daughter appeared on a candidate list for the General Election which was hailed as reflecting “the diversity of 21st century Scotland”.

Mr Rowley, a former Labour councillor in Fife whose father was also a Labour councillor in Fife, said: “My daughter is an independent person in her own right. She works hard. She does her own thing. 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.”