Kezia Dugdale quits as Scottish Labour leader

Written by Tom Freeman on 29 August 2017 in News

Kezia Dugdale resigns as Labour leader, saying party needs "fresh energy"

Kezia Dugdale - David Anderson/Holyrood

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has resigned from her position with immediate effect.

The announcement, made in a television interview, comes after UK leader Jeremy Corbyn toured Scottish constituencies.

Speaking to the BBC's Brian Taylor, Dugdale said a new leader was needed with "fresh energy, drive and a new mandate".

She will now return to the backbenches.

Dugdale 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.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have served this party in a leadership position for the last two and a half years, covering four national elections and one referendum," Dugdale said in her resignation letter to party chair Linda Stewart.

"A marker of success for me was to leave as leader with the party in better shape than I found it and I have done that.

"Emerging from the challenging times following the 2014 referendum, and the 2015 UK election, we now have a solid platform on which to build towards success, and government.

"I have given the task of achieving this all that I have. But with nearly four years now until the next Scottish Parliament elections, I am convinced that the party needs a new leader with fresh energy, drive and a new mandate to take the party into that contest.

"I will continue as a Labour MSP for the Lothians and am already looking forward to spending more time with constituents and on constituency issues."

She also said she had been affected by the death of her friend Gordon Aikman to MND earlier this year.

"His terminal illness forced him to identify what he really wanted from life, how to make the most of it and how to make a difference. He taught me how precious and short life was and never to waste a moment."

Dugdale's deputy Alex Rowley will act as leader until a successor is elected or he decides to throw his hat into the ring.


Related Articles

MPs call for improved parental leave
20 March 2018

Women and Equalities committee calls for ministers to look at giving new dads the option of 12 weeks off

National Cyber Security Centre warns UK Government and power companies of Russian threat
19 March 2018

Owners of critical infrastructure and providers of services are being urged to be prepared for Russian cyber attacks

Humza Yousaf: Councillor should be expelled from Labour following Islamophobic comment
19 March 2018

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said “only expulsion will do” after a councillor made an anti-Muslim remark about him

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page