Dugdale takes control after leadership win
NEW Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has pledged to turn the Labour party in Scotland around.
She beat Ken Macintosh to become leader of the party in Scotland at the weekend, making her the youngest in Scottish Labour history aged just 33.
Dugdale’s first changes may indicate which direction she’ll take the party in. CommonSpace takes a look at what she’s announced so far.
1. Alcohol at football matches
During the leadership election campaign Dugdale spoke out against the pet policy of her former boss, Jim Murphy, to allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed at football matches. During the General Election Dugdale had used her column in the Daily Record to support the policy, saying it could bring money into Scottish football.
But during the contest for Scottish Labour leader the policy was roundly denounced, with leadership rival Ken Macintosh also criticising it.
2. Non-shadow cabinet
In a break from parliamentary tradition the new Scottish Labour shadow cabinet will be composed of ministers who represent Labour priorities, rather than taking up the briefs of their SNP cabinet opponents.
The new Labour cabinet will also have a 50/50 gender balance, mimicking Nicola Sturgeon’s own gender balanced cabinet .
3. A debate on Trident replacement
Dugdale has said she is not averse to a debate on the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system at the next Scottish Labour conference. Speaking to The Herald , she said: “Democratising the party is right at the top of my agenda.
“I don’t shy away from having proper debates on the conference floor,” she added.
The move comes in anticipation of a Jeremy Corbyn UK Labour leadership victory, which could see Trident renewal resisted by the Labour party in the UK as a whole but endorsed by the party in Scotland where the weapons system is based.
For a debate on Trident to make it to the conference floor, a motion on the subject would have to be passed through a local party branch.
4. Living Rent sign-up
Dugdale has supported calls for rent controls at the behest of the Living Rent Campaign . She joins a growing list of politicians who back rent control proposals including SNP MSPs Mhairi Black and Tommy Sheppard, Green leader Patrick Harvie and Labour MSP Neil Findlay.
Dugdale made the commitment on the day of her election as party leader and is the most senior politician to back the measures to date.
Picture courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence