'We are down but not out'

Dugdale becomes youngest Scottish Labour leader

Kezia DugdaleKezia Dugdale was today voted leader of the Scottish Labour party defeating Ken Macintosh by a significant majority.

Ms Dugdale, 33, becomes the youngest ever leader of the Scottish party and the eighth since the setting up of the Scottish parliament in 1999.

She succeeds Jim Murphy who suffered a catastrophic defeat in May’s General Election, and may form a new partnership with Jeremy Corbyn who is favourite to become national party leader. She has recently questioned his credibility as a potential Prime Minister.

Alex Rowley, a former aide to Gordon Brown, was elected as deputy Scottish leader.

Ms Dugdale won the contest after taking 72.1% of the vote against 27.9% who voted for Mr Macintosh. About 15,000 party members and 6,000 affiliated and registered members were entitled to take part in the ballot, which was held under a new one-person-one-vote system.

She becomes the third female party leader at Holyrood and faces the formidable challenge of rebuilding the party which lost 40 of its 41 seats to the SNP at the General Election. She will be propelled into a new battle with the SNP in next year’s Scottish election. The governing party is showing 62% support in the latest opinion poll.

In her acceptance speech in Stirling, Ms Dugdale said: “We are down, but we are not out,” and promised to transform the party’s fortunes. “Take another look at the Scottish Labour party,” she said.

She pledged a “fresh look” at her challenge without being weighed down by “the baggage of the past.”

A survey in late June showed that only 5% of people of her own age would vote for Scottish Labour. https://dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2015/06/kezia-lacking-spice-as-a-lame-duck-labour-leader/

Personal checklist:

Birthplace: Aberdeen

Education: Harris Academy, Dundee (head girl); University of Aberdeen (law) and University of Edinburgh (Masters in policy studies).

Career highlights: From 2007 to 2011 she worked as office manager and political adviser to Labour list MSP George Foulkes; Elected to Holyrood as a Lothian list MSP in 2011. In 2014 she was elected deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

Policy statements:

Wants to end the charitable status of private schools which gives them tax breaks.

Called for elections to a reformed House of Lords and for it to be relocated to Glasgow. Daily Business Comment here: https://dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2015/08/why-dudgales-lords-reform-plans-are-plain-wrong/

Claimed Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn lacked the credentials to become Prime Minister and would leave Labour “carping from the sidelines”. She later insisted their politics were not “widely different” and she in fact shared Corbyn’s anti-austerity message.







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