Kezia Dugdale “would not have hesitated to suspend Alex Rowley” over conduct allegations if she was still leader
Alex Rowley stepped down as deputy leader and interim leader of Scottish Labour, after being accused of engaging in abusive behaviour towards a former partner
Image credit: Scottish Labour
If Kezia Dugdale was still leader of Scottish Labour she “would not have hesitated to suspend Alex Rowley” from Scottish Labour while allegations against him are investigated.
Alex Rowley today stepped down as deputy leader and interim leader of Scottish Labour, after being accused of engaging in abusive behaviour towards a former partner.
Rowley, who has refuted the allegations, has been acting as interim leader of the party after former leader Kezia Dugdale stood down in September.
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Reacting to media reports, Dugdale said Scottish Labour should have suspended Rowley.
She said: “I commend the bravery of all women who have come forward with allegations against those in positions of power, and we owe them answers.”
“Had I remained in the position of leader of the Scottish Labour Party, I would not have hesitated to suspend Alex Rowley from the party while these allegations are fully investigated.
“Given the evidence published today, the right course of action for the Labour Party to take would be suspension.
“Sexual harassment and abuse is never acceptable. If the past weeks have taught us anything, it is that we need to support victims of abuse and every allegation needs to be taken seriously and investigated in a fair and transparent way.”
Rowley has referred himself to the party's investigation unit.
In a statement he 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."