Kezia Dugdale has set out her plan for more party autonomy for the Scottish Labour Party.
She told Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News that Scottish Labour was the party of devolution, but we forgot to devolve our party properly. She intends to fix this. She called on Labour members across the UK to learn from the mistakes of Scottish Labour, not repeat them.
Under her plan, Scottish Labour should be responsible for decisions about:
- Policy making
- Party membership
- The selection of candidates for all elections, including UK and European elections
- Election of the Scottish Labour Leader and Deputy
- Management of local Constituency Labour Parties
There would be co-operation on staffing and finance. A process should be established involving the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the UK Labour Party and the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) of the Scottish Labour Party to resolve the technical details.
Kezia Dugdale said:
“The key goal for my leadership is to renew the Scottish Labour Party, to show that we are changing. More autonomy for Scottish Labour is central to achieving that goal.
With these reforms there will be be no doubt that the main focus of Scottish Labour will be on Holyrood, where the key decisions affecting the daily lives of Scots are made. It won’t be the Commons, the Lords or the European Parliament. They are important, of course, but the most important focus of Scottish Labour will be on using the powers at Holyrood to transform the lives of people in Scotland.
The package of reforms that Scottish Labour agreed in the summer was important, but we must be bolder in seeking to transform our party to regain the trust of the people of Scotland. This will be a radical change in the way Scottish Labour operates.
I am proud to be part of a UK-wide movement and believe that we can achieve more together than we ever could alone. As a socialist, standing together with friends, neighbours and colleagues across the UK to make our country better is a good thing.
We have to recognise, though, that the UK is changing and so must the Labour Party. We should never shy away from being part of a UK-wide movement, but as the country becomes more devolved so too the Labour Party has to change with the times. I want the Scottish Labour Party to lead the way, and would encourage other parts of the UK Labour Party to set out the case for more autonomy.
Too many people tell us they don’t know what we stand for or who we stand with. I knock on doors and hear people say the Scottish Labour Party doesn’t have a distinctive voice. Under my leadership that is changing. The Scottish Labour Party stands for closing the gap between the richest and the rest. We want to live in a country where the ability of a young person to get on in life is determined by their potential, work rate and ambition – not by how much money their parents have.”