Kezia Dugdale quitting politics for post at Glasgow University

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Credit: PA

Georgina Hayes
Editor

The former Scottish Labour leader has confirmed that she will be stepping down from the Scottish parliament in July. The MSP from the Lothian region will start her new job at the University of Glasgow this summer.

The John Smith Centre, based at the University of Glasgow, “promotes a positive vision for representative politics and public service”.

Ms Dugdale served as party leader from 2015 to 2017, and deputy leader from 2014 to 2015, having been first elected as a member of the Lothian list in 2011.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ms Dugdale said her next task is to “rebuild faith in our politics”.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

She added: “I have devoted my working life to public service and this is an incredibly exciting new opportunity for me to lead the work of the John Smith Centre.

“Throughout my career I have taken on tough and challenging tasks and my next task is to rebuild faith in our politics.

“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.

“John Smith said ‘the opportunity to serve our country – that is all we ask’.

“It will be an honour to build on his legacy and inspire his values of public service in a new generation.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Dugdale would be a “big loss” to both Scottish Labour and the Scottish Parliament.

She added: “I hope she enjoys her new challenge.”