Kezia Dugdale will stand to be the leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
Ms Dugdale has today announced that she will formally launch her campaign next month following the resignation of Jim Murphy.
The current Scottish Labour Deputy Leader said that transforming Scotland’s education system to make it fairer for all would be her key priority.
Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Kezia Dugdale said:
“I am standing to be Scottish Labour Leader and I intend to transform my party for the good of my country.
I will formally launch my campaign next month when the Scottish Executive Committee sets out the rules and timetable for the leadership contest. At that point there will be much more to say on how we must meet the challenge ahead.
This is a moment when Scottish Labour must and will change. It’s time for a new generation with a vision for the future of Scotland.
Labour lost badly in the General Election. Nothing we can say or do will disguise that fact. The job of our next leader isn’t to explain away that loss or find excuses – it’s to understand why people were so reluctant to vote for us and find a way of regaining the trust of the people of Scotland.
I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge Scottish Labour faces. But we’ve been the insurgent force before, pushing back against the political establishment and winning great victories and profound social change. We will be that force again. Our values are what we will carry forward with us – all the rest is baggage.
We have a mountain to climb, but I believe I offer a fresh start for Scottish Labour. The great social change we fight for is not a partisan cause. I can be a unifying figure across our party and our country.
As the daughter of two teachers I know the value of education. At its best it can transform the life chances of young people, no matter their background. The only way we can secure a fairer, brighter tomorrow for Scotland is by giving our young people a better start in life today. As Scottish Labour Leader that’s what I would work for every single day.”
2 thoughts on “Kezia Dugdale to stand for Scottish Labour leadership”
Scottish voters are not thick. They recognise that the SNP want independence more than anything else. Everything else comes second. Labour must be careful not to allow itself to be portrayed as a part which puts “The Union” before all else. Within this context, Kezia Dugdale is correct to say that Labour should focus on values if it is to recover in Scotland.
The first aim of the SNP as outlined in its constitution is “Independence for Scotland”. Second to this is “the furtherance of all Scottish interests”. There is nothing about ensuring “wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few” or being certain “high-quality public services where those undertakings essential to the common good are either owned by the public or accountable to them”. These are Labour’s aims. Its constitution also ensures Labour will deliver “people from the tyranny of poverty, prejudice and the abuse of power”.
This is non-trivial. Labour exists to deliver social justice. To tackle poverty. To redistribute wealth and opportunity. It does not exist to oppose the Tories, to hold the SNP to account or to ensure Scotland remains in the UK unless these activities enable it to help deliver social justice.
One of the SNP’s great successes over the past year has been its ability to label Scottish Labour as a “unionist party”. It uses this term in a divisive and negative way. In their eyes Scots must be nationalists or unionists. We must be for Scotland or against it.
Labour must shake this off by sticking to its values. It must promote itself as the party of social justice. The party which fights inequality and defends public services. Sure it wants Scotland to stay in the UK. But this is because remaining in the UK, even when we have a Tory government, is the best way to deliver social justice in the long-term. Staying in the UK is not the objective. It is, quite frankly, a means to an end.
This must be Labour’s argument. Social justice first and second. Let the SNP obsess about the constitution. It should only matter to Labour if it helps deliver social justice.
Scott Arthur, I and so many others yearn for a Scottish Labour Party member who will avoid the dogma and answer some basic questions. Well, you failed in terms of the dogma but let’s try the basic questions. A striaght, dogma-free answer is probably beyond you but I am obliged to request it.
So, you passionately talk about social justice; now forget what the SNP are saying and doing and tell me this — if it advanced social justice, or, in other words, if it was manifestly obvious that independence would result in Scottish people generally being better off, less impoverished, healthier, and happier, are you willing to ever contemplate supporting independence?
My guess is you aren’t which means you have no right to pretend you are offended by the label unionist. Also, if you accept and firmly believe as I do that indepndence would result in the Scottish people benefitting as described, you can hardly blame us for regarding your position as being contrary to the interests of the people of Scotland.
This is serious stuff. You should get out of the way and stop playing politics with people’s lives. All of you should. Your arguments for social justice will be welcome at a later date but right now you and the Labour Party screwing up the chances of ordinary people up and down the country.
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