Kezia Dugdale to take seat on Labour NEC in direct challenge to Jeremy Corbyn

Posted On: 
27th September 2016

Kezia Dugdale is to take Scotland's newly-created seat on Labour's ruling body in a direct challenge to Jeremy Corbyn.

Deep splits have emerged between Kezia Dugdale and Jeremy Corbyn
PA Images

The Scottish Labour leader's dramatic move came after party delegates today defied Mr Corbyn to vote through plans to give Scotland and Wales two places on its National Executive Committee.

It means Mr Corbyn will almost certainly lose his slim majority on the key decision-making body.

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Mr Corbyn had made several unsuccessful attempts to delay the ballot on the rule changes until next year's party conference.

He wanted Scottish and Welsh party members to elect their NEC representatives, rather than being appointed by Ms Dugdale and Carwyn Jones, Labour's First Minister in Wales.

PoliticsHome revealed how Ms Dugdale - who backed Owen Smith in the Labour leadership race - had accused Mr Corbyn of trying to "undermine" her at an ill-tempered NEC meeting on Saturday night.

Her decision to take up the new NEC seat herself tees up more confrontations between the pair in the future.

A Scottish Labour source told PoliticsHome: "Kezia Dugdale came to Liverpool and stood steadfast against attempts by some to unpick proposals that had been backed by our decision-making bodies.

"She won again. And again. And again. Nobody else has emerged from this conference in Liverpool with so many victories under their belt, demonstrating the respect she has among the wider UK family and the respect for her massive mandate which allows her to speak on behalf of Scottish Labour.

“Her leadership on this issue means Scottish Labour is now in a position of strength, and choosing the take the position on the NEC herself means that Kez joins Jeremy Corbyn in having the right to sit on the NEC as they work to unite the UK Labour party."