Scottish Labour suspend Rowley amid misconduct probe
The 53-year-old has denied the allegations made by his former partner.
Alex Rowley has been suspended from Scottish Labour amid a misconduct probe into alleged past behaviour.
The internal investigation was prompted after a former partner accused the MSP of sending a string of abusive messages and controlling behaviour.
He denies the claims and has vowed to clear his name.
The decision to suspend Rowley came after pressure from former party leader Kezia Dugdale and both Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard, who are vying to replace Dugdale during the current leadership election.
Scottish labour's business manager James Kelly MSP said: "It is important that the investigation into these allegations is fair and transparent, and the matter will be thoroughly investigated using the Labour party's internal complaints procedure.
"However, in light of the serious nature of the allegations, Labour at Holyrood has taken the decision to remove the whip from Alex Rowley for the period of this investigation."
Rowley earlier resigned his role as interim party leader as well as his permanent position of deputy leader.
In a statement, Rowley said: "I totally refute these allegations and will take all steps necessary to clear my name.
"These allegations must be properly and thoroughly investigated in line with our party's procedures - and I will refer myself to the party so such an investigation can take place.
"While that investigation is carried out, I will step aside as deputy leader, as well as interim leader, of the Scottish Labour party."