Kezia Dugdale MSP
TEL0131 348 6894
The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP
Kezia Dugdale is leader of the Scottish Labour Party, a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothian Region and spokesperson for finance and the constitution.
Kez was born in Aberdeen in 1981. Most of her early childhood was spent living in Elgin, the former cathedral city and Royal Burgh in Moray.
She then moved to Dundee to live with her mother when she took up a job there with the local authority’s education department. Both of Kezia’s parents were teachers.
After finishing school at Harris Academy in Dundee she studied law at the University of Aberdeen before completing a Master’s degree in public policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Kezia held a variety of jobs during and after her studies. They included working in pubs, coffee shops and a call centre.
Kezia then started working as a welfare officer at the Edinburgh University Students Association and later joined the National Union of Students as a public affairs officer.
Immediately before being elected she worked as an office manager and policy adviser for George Foulkes in the Scottish Parliament.
Kezia is a Scottish Labour Co-operative MSP in the Scottish Parliament. She previously chaired the cross party group on Drugs and Alcohol and currently co-chairs the cross party groups on Children and Young People, LGBTI+ and Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses.
She previously served as Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader, Shadow Minister for Youth Employment and as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.
During the Scottish independence referendum, Kezia took part in a number of debates including the STV debate.
She set up and led the Debtbusters campaign across Scotland aimed at cracking down on and tackling payday loan companies’ street by street.
This campaign was successful in pressuring the Scottish Government to start producing ‘wealth warnings’ on the dangers of these predatory legal loan sharks, got them banned from many local authority computers including public libraries and led the charge in forcing the Scottish Government to change the law around debt and introducing the Fast Track Debt Assistance Scheme.
Kezia also set up and led the Scottish Labour campaign Every Step, the campaign for affordable and flexible childcare, which engaged with thousands of parents and community groups across Scotland in developing Scottish Labour’s policy on providing a better childcare system for parents across Scotland.
Kezia won the election for Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party by securing 63% of the vote that included Scottish Labour members, parliamentarians and affiliated organisations.
She contested the 2015 Scottish Labour leadership contest, the first under a new electoral system of one-member-one-vote, winning 72.1% of the vote. She became Scottish Labour leader on 15th August 2015.
Kezia lives in the Portobello area of Edinburgh; she has a weekly column in the Daily Record every Tuesday and is a season ticket holder at Hibernian FC.