SCOTTISH Labour has suspended the selection process for general election candidates in two Glasgow seats after local activists tried to block candidates from standing. 

Four people had put themselves forward in the joint selection battle for Glasgow East and Glasgow North East - former Scottish Government minister Frank McAveety, Glasgow councillor Maureen Burke, trade unionist Shona Thomson, and activist Declan McLean.

However, the executive of the local party only wanted Mr McAveety and Ms Burke to go forward for selection, meaning an affirmative ballot, with members not getting a vote.

The decision - leaked to veteran journalist Michael Crick  - sparked outrage. 

He said Ms Thomson had been blocked because she gave a "poor interview" while 24-year-old Mr Mclean was felt to be "too young."

Jackie Baillie, the chair of the party's general election sub-committee wrote to candidates to say the selection had now been suspended.

In an email- seen by The Herald - she wrote: "I have now had the opportunity to review a report received from the SEC representative for the Glasgow East/North East selection process.

"I have also received feedback from SEC Office bearers and members of the SEC. There is a broad concern that the decision of the local Procedures committee to only shortlist one candidate in each contest has undermined Scottish Labour’s commitment to fair choice in selections.

"It is also clear that rules in relation to the minimum number of candidates to be shortlisted have been ignored."

Under Labour's selection procedures, the shortlist shall "usually consist of not less than four individuals and must be 50 per cent women”.

The rules state that the party's governing SEC "must be satisfied that the shortlist is of the highest possible quality, as far as possible reflects the priorities of the Scottish Labour Party in respect of diversity and provides members with a fair choice.”

Ms Baillie continued: "I am concerned that the decision to shortlist only one candidate in each contest and exclude the other longlisted candidates prevents local members from having a choice of candidates.

"This is not consistent with Scottish Labour Party’s stated aim of providing members with a fair choice that reflects diversity.

"As a result the SEC will now suspend the selection process in Glasgow East/North East.

"The entire selection will now be brought back to the General Election Sub-Committee to review and identify a constructive way forward.

"This will ensure an approach consistent with Scottish Labour values on selection and in line with SEC procedures."