GORDON Brown has backed Jackie Baillie’s campaign to become Scottish Labour’s deputy leader – as members begin voting today.

The former Prime Minister has given the Dumbarton MSP his support as voting begins to elect Richard Leonard’s deputy.

Ms Baillie is competing against Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr – but he faces disciplinary action from the party after refusing to back any party’s council budget proposals - including his own.

Mr Kerr, the left-wing candidate in the contest, said he was unable back Labour’s budget plans after saying councillors needed to stand up to central government and fight cuts.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour deputy candidate facing disciplinary action

Mr Brown has praised Ms Baillie’s proposals for returning the party to power.

He said: "I have supported Jackie Baillie on the five occasions she has been elected and served the people with great distinction as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumbarton.

"As the one MSP standing for deputy leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Jackie has a positive plan for getting Scottish Labour back into power in 2021 that focuses on the NHS, schools and quality jobs and she supports the Scottish and UK constitutional changes we want to see. Jackie has proved that she is Labour to the core."

Ms Baillie has already secured 60 per cent of local parties and Labour councillors – along with 92 per cent of parliamentarians.

She said: "Gordon knows better than anyone what Labour can achieve when it rebuilds and wins power, and I’m honoured to have his support.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown: Scotland ‘at risk of becoming one of West’s most divided countries’

"We need to change to win. That’s why I have put myself forward to be deputy leader: to help unite the party and make the changes we need. We cannot carry on with business as usual – we need change now.

"As Scottish Labour members across Scotland receive their ballots, I’m asking to serve as deputy leader so I can work with everyone in our movement to rebuild and fight our way back to power. It is only in power that we can deliver our Labour values."