Ex-Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to quit Holyrood
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