Kezia Dugdale steps down as leader of Scottish Labour

Marco Green
August 30, 2017

KEZIA DUGDALE has resigned as leader of Scottish Labour effective immediately, days before the beginning of a new session of the Scottish Parliament, describing the decision as "best for me and best for Scottish Labour".

Kezia Dugdale, a critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said she had stepped aside so a successor with "fresh energy, drive and a new mandate" could be chosen.

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

In an exclusive interview with BBC Scotland's political editor, Brian Taylor, she said the party was "on its knees" north of the border when she took over.

She stated: "Too often our leaders leave in a crisis, with scores to settle".

Ms Dugdale, who led the party to a general election result that was better than expected this year, said it was time to "pass on the baton" to someone else. "I choose to stand down because I believe it is best for me and best for Scottish Labour, at a time when we can be positive and optimistic about our future".

While she will continue as Lothians MSP, Ms Dugdale has relinquished the leadership role.

Fellow politicians have paid tribute to her time as the party's leader. "It came as a bolt out of the blue", he said, according to The Guardian. Her open, friendly, and upbeat style was appealing.

She has also faced criticism from within her party after replacing Jim Murphy.

In a statement, she said it had been an "honor and a privilege" to serve as Scottish Labour leader for two and a half years. You deserve to get your life back.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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