A Scotland Labour Cabinet resignation to be proud of – Kezia Dugdale

The EU elections were not kind to Scottish Labour, we lost our MEPs and came sixth in Edinburgh, despite winning the contest just five years ago.

Saturday, 1st June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 1st June 2019, 7:00 am
Edinburgh South Labour MSP Daniel Johnson. (Picture: Toby Williams)

The EU elections were not kind to Scottish Labour, we lost our MEPs and came sixth in Edinburgh, despite winning the contest just five years ago.

On Tuesday, Daniel Johnson, MSP for Edinburgh Southern, resigned as Justice Spokesperson from the Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet to allow him the independence to articulate the views of his constituents; who voted 80 per cent in favour of remain in the EU referendum, and where over 20,000 people signed the revoke Article 50 Petition.

Daniel deserves real credit for the way he’s conducted himself. Whilst he’s consistently had big concerns about his own party’s position, he stuck it out for as long as he possibly could. It’s just not tenable any more.

The role of the party is important, but when the policy it produces is so counterintuitive to what your constituents need and want, you really don’t have much choice.

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I know full well that party politics can be a messy business. I knew full well the pressures elected members can be put under when it becomes a choice between what you think is best for your constituents and what is deemed best for the party, and indeed the country.

In this whole Brexit debacle, which will sadly be with us for a good while yet, there’s very few things you can be absolutely sure about. Yet this unedifying episode in Scottish Labour’s history demonstrates beyond doubt that people living Edinburgh Southern have an MSP who will always do the right thing by them.