wnol.info June 23 2018

Interim leader Alex Rowley will not stand for Scottish leadership

June 23 2018, 11:22 | Irvin Gilbert

Interim leader Alex Rowley will not stand for Scottish leadership

Kezia Dugdale and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Kezia Dugdale has resigned as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, denying on Wednesday that she was quitting before being pushed out by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, who leads the party across Britain.

"But with almost four years now until the next Scottish Parliament elections, I am convinced that the party needs a new leader with fresh energy, drive and a new mandate to take the party into that contest".

Scottish Labour general secretary Brian Roy said: "Over the coming weeks the Scottish Executive Committee of the Labour Party will decide the process and timetable for a leadership election".

Mr McCready described how co-operation had "been at the heart of her politics as Scottish Labour leader", with strong support for the party's People's ScotRail and People's Bus campaign.

Dugdale surprised her party with her resignation - many MSPs only found out over WhatsApp - but she had appeared rather exhausted by the grind of leading the party.

She also ended up in a highly unhelpful row with Nicola Sturgeon during the 2017 snap election after the SNP leader claimed Dugdale had spoken privately to her after the Brexit referendum to say "Brexit changed everything and she didn't think Labour could go on opposing a second referendum".

"It has been an honour and a privilege to have served this party in a leadership position for the last two and a half years, covering four national elections and one referendum", she wrote in her resignation letter.

There remain those on the left who believe that campaign approach has left Ms Dugdale out of step with the approach of the United Kingdom leader.

"And I have guaranteed the autonomy of the Scottish Labour Party".

But in his statement, Mr Findlay confirmed that he would not be putting his name forward, and wished Ms Dugdale and whoever succeeds her "the very best for the future".

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Chair of the Edinburgh Southern Constituency Labour Party and Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall said he was proud to have stood beside Dugdale, and thanked her for "reminding people what Scottish Labour is all about".

Rather than personal gain, Ms Dugdale, 36, was motivated by a sense of duty.

The Fife MSP revealed he does not harbour any ambitions to be the first minister of Scotland. This is an opportunity to reflect upon what the Scottish Labour Party stands for.

That sentiment won't necessarily derail the chances of the man who has now become the interim leader: Dugdale's deputy, Alex Rowley. I love this party too much for that to be my way.

Richard Leonard, a former GMB trade union organiser who was elected to Holyrood in 2016, and Anas Sarwar, Labour's Scottish health spokesman, are now thought to be the most likely candidates to take on the job.

But despite shedding office staff, after signs of a revival at the general election, many believed she would stay on to fight the 2021 Scottish elections.

Ms Dugdale stated: "His terminal illness forced him to identify what he really wanted from life, how to make the most of it and how to make a difference".

Doing their sums, the CfS concluded that the Scottish strategy, under the control of Ms Dugdale, had cost the party seats.

It was clear that Dugdale wanted to leave on her own terms, despite previously saying that she meant to stay on as leader past the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

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