Kezia Dugdale insists Scottish Labour is changing

The Scottish Labour leader has a positive outlook. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Scottish Labour leader has a positive outlook. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is set to insist she can make the party “fit for the future” and one that voters can “put their trust in once again”.

Labour members are gathering in Perth for their first conference since the party suffered a devastating defeat in the general election. They lost all but one of the 41 Scottish seats they had held previously to the SNP.

New UK leader Jeremy Corbyn will also make a key speech to the party, which has just over six months to turn things around before next May’s Holyrood election.

Ms Dugdale, who will also use the conference to announce plans to help more youngsters leaving care to go on to university, will say that Labour as a party is “well aware of the challenges we face” after receiving a “resounding message from the voters in May”.

She will add that while that message was “painful”, there is “now a new generation of leadership that has taken up the challenge of renewing our party”. Labour is changing, she will insist, saying the party is “confident about the future” and “upbeat about the opportunities that come in a changing world”.

Ms Dugdale will say: “We start this conference more ambitious for our Parliament, more upbeat about the future, more determined than ever to stand up to the Scottish establishment.

“We can be the party that people put their trust in once again.”

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