Rowley rules out Scottish Labour leadership bid

31 August, 2017, 01:46 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Kezia Dugdale with Jeremy Corbyn

Labour now has seven of Scotland's 59 seats having fallen to just one seat in the 2015 election.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was a key speaker at the conference. The Guardian reports that he co-edited the Red Papers, a collection of essays written by left-wing activists seeking an "alternative to the sterile nationalist v unionist debate" in Scotland.

She thought the time was right to go so the new leader could make their mark before the next Scottish elections.

Other contenders being talked about are the interim leader Alex Rowley as well as the Glasgow MP and former deputy leader Anas Sarwar.

Equalities spokeswoman Monica Lennon may also be considering a bid for the top job amid criticism the race could become male dominated.

At a meeting of the party's National Executive Committee later the same day, a freshly-emboldened Corbyn said he wanted to postpone moves to put representatives from the Scottish and Welsh parties on the ruling body.

"Kezia has been a strong champion of co-operation in her role as a local MSP and as Scottish Labour leader".

Kezia walked away of her own volition saying that the best thing for the interests of the Labour Party is for her to pass the baton of leadership on, which is something that pretty much everyone apart from the bitter Anyone But Corbyn mob should be able to agree on.

In her resignation letter, Dugdale wrote: "I choose to stand down because I believe it is best for me and best for Scottish Labour, at a time when we can be positive and optimistic about our future".

The politician, who serves as a member of the Scottish Parliament representing the Lothian's constituency, succeeded Jim Murphy as Scottish Labour leader in 2015. She can point to her relentless campaigning for equality, her internal reforms which made the Scottish party more autonomous and a recent general election that saw Labour surpass expectations.

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The news came after Corbyn had completed a tour of 18 Scottish constituencies where he staged rallies to big crowds, showing his popularity north of the border.

He thanked her for her contribution and for "rebuilding" the party in Scotland.

She had been booked as Scottish Labour leader to speak at this year's centenary Co-op Party conference in October.

Who could replace her? There will be no press conference and no off-the-record briefing in my name. But if she was wanting to stand down it's good she's doing it now to help us prepare for the next Scottish elections. This is wrong because Kezia's surprise resignation has taken everyone by surprise, even her opponents to the left of the Scottish Labour Party. I wish her every success and happiness in life.

"On behalf of the party, I wish her well".

Party chiefs will meet on Saturday September 9 to thrash out a timetable for the leadership race, but Unite, the most powerful union in the United Kingdom, has issued a statement insisting there is "no need to rush" now Rowley is in place.

While romance across the political divide clearly suited the two MSPs and should be something to celebrate in an era of political tribalism, in some recesses of the Labour Party a less than enlightened attitude prevails and there are those who have privately questioned the wisdom of the relationship.

Dugdale has been a vocal critic of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the past.

"I wish her well for the future, and she is staying in the party, which is great".


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