Jeremy Corbyn leads tributes as Kezia Dugdale quits as Scottish Labour leader

Written by Kevin Schofield and Kate Shannon on 30 August 2017 in News

Jeremy Corbyn has praised Kezia Dugdale's "tireless service" 

Jeremy Corbyn has praised Kezia Dugdale's "tireless service" after she announced she was standing down as Scottish Labour leader.

The party's UK-wide boss said Dugdale had played a key role in "rebuilding the party in Scotland" during her two years in charge.


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It was reported late last night that Dugdale had written to Scottish Labour chair Linda Stewart informing her of her decision to stand down.

She said: "Too often our leaders leave in a crisis, with scores to settle. I love this party too much for that to be my way. There will be no press conference and no off the record briefing in my name.

"I choose to stand down because it is best for me and best for Scottish Labour, at a time when we can be positive and optimistic about our future."

In a statement, Corbyn said: "I'd like to thank Kezia Dugdale for her work as Scottish Labour leader and the important role she has played in rebuilding the party in Scotland.

“Kezia became Scottish leader at one of the most difficult times in the history of the Scottish Labour Party, and the party's revival is now fully under way, with six new MPs and many more to come.

“I want to thank Kez for her tireless service to our party and movement, and look forward to campaigning with her in future for a country that works for the many not the few.”

Dugdale's political opponents also paid tribute to the departing leader.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "We may be opponents, but @kezdugdale led her party with guts and determination and I admired her for that. I wish her well for the future."

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also tweeted her tribute, "Leadership can be tough and @kezdugdale deserves the thanks of her party for putting in the hard yards. I wish her well."

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie added that Dugdale has "served her party with dedication; her decision to stand down can't have been easy. I'd like to wish her well for the future".

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "Kezia Dugdale has been a good thing for Labour. Her open, friendly, and upbeat style was appealing. I enjoyed working with her on common causes and hope that will continue. I wish her well for the future."​

Dugdale's resignation will have immediate effect and she will return to the backbenches when Holyrood reconvenes after summer recess.

She has led the party in Scotland since 2015 and fought two general elections, a Holyrood election and a council election in that time.

The party came third at the Scottish Parliament election and 2017 general election behind the SNP and the Scottish Conservatives.

Dugdale has been critical of Corbyn in the past and backed his challenger Owen Smith during the leadership election.

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