Jayne Baxter MSP and Cara Hilton MSP write about why their full support is behind Kezia Dugdale.
Scottish Labour has a proud history of creating positive change. Our values of social justice reflect the better world that people in Scotland are looking for.
During the referendum, we saw a resurgence of political activity. No matter whether people voted yes or no, they were talking about a better Scotland and better United Kingdom.
What Scottish Labour needs now is a leadership team that reflects that will, and can lead that vision for our members and for the whole of Scotland.
We live in a society where equality may exist on paper but not in reality. In a Scotland with food banks, zero hour contracts, crippling childcare costs and cuts closing the doors to college for over 100,000 people, we need Scottish Labour to be a powerful voice for change.
When we speak to our constituents and members we hear the same things over and over again: enough talking about constitutional change, let’s start making real change. Let’s campaign on issues that matter and make a difference to peoples’ daily lives.
When we start thinking about politics in this way, there is only one person whose name comes to mind and that is Kezia Dugdale.
Kezia has proven time and time again that creating a campaigning movement is the best opportunity that Scottish Labour Party has to reconnect with voters across Scotland. Whether it is her Debtbusters campaign which pushed the Scottish Government to issue wealth warnings for pay day lenders, her Every Step campaign which has influenced the Scottish Government’s latest announcements on childcare, or her work with the Women 50:50 campaign to create a fairer and more representative Scotland, Kezia has the track record as an MSP that we want for the whole Scottish Labour Party.
Her qualities stand out and it is clear that she will make a fantastic partnership with any of the leadership candidates – because working as a team has to be the priority for Scottish Labour ahead of 2015 and 2016.
With Kezia as Deputy Leader of our party, we are guaranteed the full package: the ability to defend the labour stance and take on opposition; the campaigning energy to push for change; the ability to empower our voters and our members; and, importantly, the Labour social justice values to ensure we are always fighting for those who need us most.