Former Journalist Reportedly Bookie's Favourite for Leader's Post

Former journalist and broadcaster, David Whitton, is reportedly the favourite to succeed Iain Gray as Scottish Labour leader should his party suffer a bad result following today's Scottish Parliament elections and Gray then stands down.

Reports The Scotsman, Whitton, who was first elected as the MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden four years ago, has been given odds of 5/4 by bookies, Ladbrokes.

Whitton’s Strathkelvin and Bearsden seat is considered as a safe seat for Scottish Labour.

Adds The Scotsman, he is followed by the party's finance spokesman, Andy Kerr, at 6/4, and Jackie Baillie at 5/1. 

Whitton began his journalistic career with DC Thomson in 1970 before moving to the Fife Free Press and then the Evening Express in Aberdeen – specialising in local government activities.

He worked for The Scotsman in Glasgow for three years before moving to the Daily Record where he became industrial editor in 1983.

From 1986-96, Whitton worked at STV in a variety of roles including producer of news and current affairs programme, Lobby correspondent at Westminster, presenter of political programming and on screen news reporter. He was head of public affairs from 1994-96. His time at STV was followed by a short period as a director of the PR company, Media House.

Following the first Scottish Parliament elections, Whitton became special adviser to then First Minister, Donald Dewar, and official spokesperson for the First Minister and the Scottish Executive (now called the Scottish Government).

In 2000, Whitton established his own public affairs consultancy.