Ex-Labour leader Kezia Dug­dale to quit Holy­rood

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

FOR­MER Scot­tish Labour leader, Kezia Dug­dale, has an­nounced she will be quit­ting Holy­rood to take up a post at Glas­gow University.

Ms Dug­dale will give up her seat in the sum­mer when Holy­rood breaks for re­cess.

She was leader of her party for two years be­tween 2015 and 2017 hav­ing pre­vi­ously been deputy to Jim Murphy.

She is re­sign­ing to take up a job as direc­tor of the John Smith Cen­tre for Pub­lic Ser­vice.

Ms Dug­dale said: “It has been an honour to rep­re­sent the Loth­ian re­gion for Labour in the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment, and to have had the op­por­tu­nity to serve the party in a va­ri­ety of roles for over a decade – from party or­gan­iser to leader.

“All through that time the pas­sion and commitment of our mem­bers has been in­spi­ra­tional. No mat­ter how dif­fi­cult things were ac­tivists were al­ways will­ing to hit the doorsteps to spread Labour’s mes­sage.”

In her new role she said her task it to re­build faith in pol­i­tics which she said has be­come po­larised.

Mr Dug­dale added: “Dis­rup­tive events and the rise of pop­ulism has led to in­creas­ingly po­larised and emo­tional pol­i­tics where ra­tio­nal, ev­i­dence-based think­ing has lost its stand­ing.

“Faith in pub­lic ser­vice, pol­i­tics and the po­lit­i­cal process has to be re­stored and that progress must be sus­tain­able.”

Her suc­ces­sor as leader, Richard Leonard, praised Ms Dug­dale for her lead­er­ship.

He said: “Kezia stepped for­ward at a dif­fi­cult time for the Scot­tish Labour Party and on many issues, from ar­gu­ing to use the tax and so­cial se­cu­rity pow­ers of Holy­rood to mak­ing the case for fed­er­al­ism, she helped the party re­build af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing losses of the 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tion.”

As a list MSP there will be no by elec­tion and she will be re­placed by an­other Labour can­di­date.

Kezia Dug­dale is tak­ing up a post at Glas­gow University

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