Gray set to hand over party reins

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SCOTTISH Labour leader Iain Gray has vowed to step up his campaigning work as MSP for East Lothian after he hands over the reins of the party at the weekend.

He made his final appearance in the role at First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament yesterday.

The result of the election for his successor will be announced in Edinburgh on Saturday.

First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute to Mr Gray, saying he had “served his party with distinction”.

He said: “I have greatly enjoyed our weekly jousts in this chamber and I know that whoever his successor may be, he or she will have a hard act to follow.”

Mr Gray made clear he had no plans to give up his political career. He told the Evening News: “I’m still MSP for East Lothian and that’s a great privilege. I’m looking forward to stepping up a gear in some of the local campaigns.”