Kezia Dugdale backs Jeremy Corbyn in unity plea

Kezia Dugdale said Scots are at a "crossroads"
Kezia Dugdale said Scots are at a "crossroads"
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Labour leader Kezia Dugdale today issued an appeal for Labour unity as she pledged to do "all she can" to ensure Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister.

Ms Dugdale told union leaders in Aviemore that the party's core purpose was to be a political force in the halls of power and insisted that only Labour can defeat the Tories.

The party is struggling to overcome dire poll ratings in Scotland and south of the border. Ms Dugdale has been among the most high profile critics of Mr Corbyn's leadership, but she threw her weight behind the Islington North MP as she addressed the STUC today.

Ms Dugdale said: "We have a chance to get rid of this Tory Government.

“And you can only do that by standing with the Labour movement, and supporting the Labour Party.

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“Clause One of the Labour Party’s rule book says that the purpose of the Labour Party is ‘to organise and maintain in Parliament and in the country a political Labour Party’.

“In this election campaign over the next six weeks, I will do all I can to make sure we have a Labour Government.

“A Labour Government that will end the Trade Union Bill, abolish the rape clause and ensure fair wages and decent work for all.

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“A Labour Government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, with real compassion. A Labour Government that puts our principles into practice in the place where Labour should be: in power in the interests of working people.”

Labour has just one seat left in Scotland in Edinburgh South which is held by Ian Murray. But with one weekend poll placing the party third behind the SNP and Tories in Scotland ,on just 13% of the vote, a turnaround so far seems unlikely.

But Ms Dugdale insisted that the party's plans to ensure everyone has a "decent high quality job that pays the living wage" will be at the core of the party's programme for Government.

"This election is an opportunity," the Lothians MSP added.

"It is our opportunity to bring about the change that this country needs with a Labour Government, led by Jeremy Corbyn.

"Our country stands at a crossroads in this election. More than ever, people here in Scotland, and right across the UK, feel left behind and marginalised.

"They continue to feel that politics isn’t working and that politicians aren’t doing enough to address their concerns. Our job is to change that."