Monica Lennon has announced she is hoping to succeed Richard Leonard as the next leader of Scottish Labour.

The Central Scotland MSP and Labour health spokeswoman confirmed her bid in a tweet on Sunday night.

Her confirmation came just hours before the deadline of midnight on Sunday for potential candidates to declare their intention to run for the position.

"Following discussions with party members, I have decided to put my name forward to lead the Scottish Labour Party," she wrote. "Our members deserve to have their say about the best way to take forward our vision for a fairer and more equal Scotland.

"I look forward to being considered."

It comes following the resignation of Richard Leonard as leader of the party on Thursday, where he suggested speculation and an attempt by a handful of MSPs to oust him last year had become “a distraction”.

Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar has also declared his intention to run for the position, saying he aims to “rebuild” Labour north of the border after recent electoral results.

Glasgow Times:

In a column for the Guardian, he wrote: "Over the past few years, I have gained a new perspective on our politics and realised that the things we argue about mean little to people's lives.

"We spend too much time highlighting our differences, rather than focusing on what unites us.

"I firmly believe we cannot go back to society as it was before the pandemic - insecure work, hollowed- out public services, an underfunded health service, and the constant focus on another independence referendum when there's far more important things we need to be dealing with.

"Scottish Labour can compete again if we offer a positive alternative - a plan to heal our wounds, to reunite our people and to rebuild our country."

A new timeline has been approved by Scottish Labour to fast-track a leader into position by late February. 

Candidates who submit their intention by midnight tonight will require support from at least four of the party's MSPs or its sole Scottish MP by midday on the following Tuesday to be formally nominated.

Party members and affiliated supporters will be able to cast their votes from Tuesday February 9 until ballots close on Friday February 26 with the new leader to be announced the following day.