Kezia Dugdale signals more freedom in Labour debates

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Getty Images
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Getty Images
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SCOTTISH Labour has thrown open its party conference to ­ordinary members who can attend for just £5 and debate whatever they like.

New leader Kezia Dugdale said she is determined “nothing should be swept under the carpet” in the debates that could shape future policy for the party, which has suffered a series of electoral defeats in recent years.

She pledged to end the “conference control freakery” of previous party leaders, who are alleged to have suppressed contentious issues in favour of more consensual debates.

Members will be balloted on the issues they want to discuss at conference in Perth on Friday, 30 October, with those selected debated on Sunday, 1 November.

Ms Dugdale has already advised that a debate on Trident is on the table following renewed splits opened up by UK leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-nuclear stance, which has been backed by Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley.

In an e-mail to constituency parties announcing the changes, she said: “The role of members isn’t to just vote for a new leader.

“It should be to put forward ideas about how we can transform our country to make it a better place to live for everybody.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of the views of our members and supporters. We want you to have your say. Nothing should be swept under the carpet because it’s too difficult.

“The days of conference control freakery in all parties in Scotland must come to an end.”