THE Scottish Labour leadership contest has been hit by claims that could undermine the upcoming election.

Sources told The Herald have said that a large number of new party members joining have provided the same email address and phone numbers in their applications.

Party insiders are concerned that, if multiple members are using the same contact details, there is the potential for individuals to cast someone else's vote while voting electronically.

While some have raised concerns a spokesperson for Anas Sarwar, who is running against Richard Leonard for the position of Scottish Labour leader, has welcomed the news.

They stated: “It’s incredibly encouraging that people across Scotland have joined the Labour Party and we are confident that many have been enthused to do so by Anas’s positive campaign and by a belief that he can be the next Labour First Minister.”

At least two secretaries of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), both of whom nominated Richard Leonard, have raised concerns over the duplicate personal information.

Over the weekend a Labour source told the Sunday Herald that, out of around 1,600 new sign-ups, around 1,200 were Asian members. They claimed that the new members had been signed up to "edge it" for Sarwar.

Sources have claimed that the clusters of new members using the same personal details have come from individuals within the same households. This is not unusual as extended families often live together.

However this has been raised as an issue as, in some cases, a single mobile phoner number has been used for all the new members under one roof, and the application process does not require a signature.

A senior party source said having one mobile for five or six people in one house made it “hard for Labour to contact these new members for verification purposes”.

The scale of the practice, of sharing mobile numbers and email address, has caused concern.

It has been noted that in a situation where more than three are registered to the same email address, Labour will send individual postal ballots instead of electronic ones.

There has been no suggestion of any wrongdoing from a candidate so far, but the situation has shone a spotlight on Labour's decision to allow new members to join during the contest.

A verification panel has been set up to look over new sign-ups, chaired by interim party leader Alex Rowley.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “The party has a robust process to ensure verification of new members and registered supporters.”