Activists in the local branch of one of Scottish Labour’s key election hopefuls have warned that she will “damage” the party if elected to Westminster.

The extraordinary intervention from unhappy members about Kirsteen Sullivan comes less than two weeks before voters go to the polls.

It also comes just days after Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar campaigned with the West Lothian councillor in the Bathgate and Linlithgow seat.

The Herald has been told that the internal battle was sparked by a disagreement on how the local party should spend its funds.

The Linlithgow Constituency Labour Party (CLP) had previously struggled financially but has recently built up a war chest of around £12,000.

According to sources in the local party, Ms Sullivan believed the whole amount should be spent on her campaign, while others wanted to be more cautious and keep some back for future campaigning.

At the CLP’s AGM in January, they say Ms Sullivan effectively organised a coup, with those who had opposed her ousted from their positions as office bearers.

“Our constituency party is small and doesn't have many activists," one source told The Herald. "There are maybe 10 or 12 people that are active, that pass about office bearer positions between them.

“Never in the many years that I had been in the party, had we ever had any sort of contest for any position, if anybody ever did want to take a position on, it was generally ahead of the AGM by consensus.”

At the AGM, they said there were “quite a lot of unfamiliar faces, people you wouldn't normally see at a constituency party meeting.”

“From the vantage point I was sitting at, it became very obvious and clear to me that Kirsteen had arranged that. And then the way it was done, there was no speeches, there was no nothing, just straight to a paper vote.”

Another source said Ms Sullivan’s behaviour had ultimately alienated the local members who were most active and who could be relied on to knock on doors in the run-up to the vote.

"The activists, people that did the work, and people in the know, probably also understood that Kirsteen was just the wrong candidate.”

“And she’s ended up with nobody,” they added. “She’s ended up with people with no ability and no skills, no knowledge in a failing campaign."

They added that many activists were now campaigning in the neighbouring constituency.

“I mean, she's hardly got any local people in the party working for her, if anything, people are coming over to Livingston to work for Gregor Poynton, who is an excellent candidate, somebody that's getting a lot of support from the local party.

“There's not many people working for Kirsteen. She's very divisive."

A third told The Herald: "Whilst I am sure we will have an excellent result across the United Kingdom next month if she takes her behaviour to Westminster that she has brought to West Lothian Council she will just cause damage to our party."

The Labour group on the local authority has been rocked by resignations and defections in recent years.

Angela Doran-Timson crossed the floor to join the Tories in 2020, accusing her former colleagues of “game playing.”

Earlier this year, Councillor Andrew McGuire quit the party, blaming the “toxic atmosphere” created by some members.

There was little contest for Ms Sullivan’s selection as the candidate. The only other person on the ballot withdrew from the race at the last minute. However, she still received 32 votes.

MRP polling suggest the new Bathgate and Linlithgow seat is set to go to Labour, with the SNP’s Martyn Day likely to face a drubbing.

Sir Keir was in the constituency on Friday, where he toured Window Supply Company Ltd in Whitburn with Ms Sullivan and Mr Sarwar.

Ms Sullivan was approached for comment.