Labour must ‘do better’ and ‘reconnect’ - Dugdale

LABOUR in Scotland needs to find its campaigning zeal and do everything better, one of the candidates for the party’s deputy leadership said.
Kezia Dugdale wants to be part of a 'crusading leadership team' that can 'reconnect' with the people of Scotland. Picture: Ian RutherfordKezia Dugdale wants to be part of a 'crusading leadership team' that can 'reconnect' with the people of Scotland. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Kezia Dugdale wants to be part of a 'crusading leadership team' that can 'reconnect' with the people of Scotland. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Kezia Dugdale said she wants to be part of a crusading leadership team that would “reconnect” with the people of Scotland.

The Lothian MSP is running against MP Katy Clark for the post of Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, while three candidates - former Scottish secretary Jim Murphy, Holyrood health spokesman Neil Findlay and fellow MSP Sarah Boyack - are all bidding to take over as party leader.

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The contest comes after Johann Lamont stood down suddenly last month, accusing Westminster colleagues of treating the party in Scotland like a “branch office”.

There has been some speculation that Ms Dugdale would run on a joint ticket with Mr Murphy, the East Renfrewshire MP who is regarded as being the front-runner for the job.


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But Ms Dugdale said she would not stand with another candidate, pointing out her bid for the deputy leadership has been backed by supporters of all three of the leadership candidates.

She said today she would “stand for tomorrow’s Scotland - a country free from poverty and injustice, with opportunity for everyone”.

Ms Dugdale added: “That means good jobs and wages, decent chances at school, more college places and childcare that doesn’t cost twice your rent.

“I want to be part of a leadership team that makes this Labour’s crusade. But to do any of it, we need to win the trust of the people again.

“I am standing to help rebuild our party and support the new leader’s efforts to reconnect with the Scottish people.”

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She continued: “I hear what the Scottish people say. I know they want change.

“It used to be said that we should do less, better. Now we have to do everything better.

“Only the Labour Party makes social justice and equality its political priorities. To improve people’s lives, we need to make it fit for purpose.

“I want Labour to find its campaigning zeal again. We must enthuse the Scottish electorate, make them proud to join and support us. We will do that when we prove we have listened, that we truly prioritise their aspirations and hopes for the future.”

Neil Bibby MSP, who is managing her campaign along with Ian Murray MP, described Ms Dugdale as “an outstanding MSP”, and added: “I think she’ll be an outstanding deputy leader for our party.

“She knows we need to start telling people what Labour stands for, she will bring the party together and allow us to win together.”

Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm hailed Ms Dugdale as “the most dedicated and committed campaigner I have ever come across”.

He said she is also a “superb communicator” with both “passion and idealism”, adding that she “presents a very positive and inspiring vision of how Labour can promote social justice and create a more equal society”.

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Jayne Baxter MSP said: “I am supporting Kezia because she will be a great part of any leadership team. She is a formidable campaigner with values that make me proud to be Labour.”


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