Rush of support for Kezia and Jenny relationship revelation

Kezia Dugdale and Jenny Gilruth have revealed that they are dating. Picture: Scottish Labour
Kezia Dugdale and Jenny Gilruth have revealed that they are dating. Picture: Scottish Labour
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SUPPORT has flooded in for Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale after the announcement of her relationship with a Fife SNP MSP.

The Lothian MSP revealed over the weekend she has been dating Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth since March.

Ms Dugdale, 35, confirmed the pair were in a relationship and asked that their privacy be respected.

But friends, colleagues and the public took to social media to show overwhelming support following the couple’s announcement.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted her congratulations.

She tweeted: “So love really does conquer all! Wishing every happiness to @JennyGilruth & @kezdugdale.”

And SNP MP for Livingston Hannah Bardell tweeted: “Glad you’ve both found happiness @JennyGilruth & @kezdugdale... a bit of cross party co-operation always good!”

Ms Gilruth, 32, is a former teacher and was elected in May 2016, and currently works as a parliamentary liaison officer for John Swinney, who also took to twitter to congratulate the couple.

He said: “Love definitely knows no bounds.

“All good wishes @JennyGilruth and @kezdugdale.”

Hundreds of Evening News readers were also quick to applaud the announcement.

Dave O’Brien commented: “Good for you girls. Politics is not the end of the world. Many, many things are more important.”

And Graeme McLachlan added on Facebook: “It’s good to see politics taking a back seat when you find somebody you connect with. Good luck to the both of them.”

Ms Dugdale and Ms Gilruth became acquainted during a cross-party political trip to the United States last summer.

A joint statement released by the couple said: “We don’t consider this to be ‘news’ – but we appreciate others might and we want to go about our daily lives normally.

“We would like to thank our friends, family and colleagues for their kindness over the past few months and for their love and support.

“We’d politely ask that our privacy is respected because while we are both politicians, we are also human beings – in a new relationship, which we cherish.”

It follows calls from left-wing publication the Scottish Left Review (SLR) for Ms Dugdale to be removed from her position as Scottish Labour leader claiming her “politically and personally woeful leadership” was partly to blame for Scottish Labour not winning more seats in last month’s General Election.

The magazine, which is not affiliated to the party but has backers from across the left in Scotland, said the lingering resentment of Labour’s alliance with the Tories in the anti-independence campaign contributed to the failure.

A Scottish Labour source 
said the magazine’s editorial was “ill-informed”.

newsen@edinburghnews.com