Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is coming under pressure to clarify her views on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after appearing to give BBC reporters two different answers to the same question.
Immediately after the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn, Dugdale was asked to comment on an article she wrote in which she claimed that the Labour leader could not win a UK general election.
Writing in the Daily Record last month, the Scottish Labour leader said: “I don’t think Jeremy can unite our party and lead us into government. He cannot appeal to a broad enough section of voters to win an election.”
Pressed by BBC reporter Victoria Derbyshire on whether she still held those views, Dugdale replied: “I’m not changing that view. It’s very clear. It’s written down.”
However, when interviewed by BBC Scotland reporter Nick Eardley later that day the Scottish Labour leader appeared to change her view, telling Eardley she believed Corbyn could indeed unite the party and win a UK general election.
She told the BBC Scotland reporter: “I believe that Jeremy can unite the party.” and added: “I believe that a united Labour party, talking about its principles, can win a general election.”
The apparently contradictory statements by the Scottish Labour leader have re-ignited speculation over her future as leader of Labour in Scotland. Only this week Dugdale hit the headlines after failing to lodge a vote against the Scottish government which allowed Nicola Sturgeon’s administration to avoid an embarrassing defeat on local authority funding.
However talk of a bid to oust Dugdale, who backed loser Owen Smith in the leadership contest, was dismissed by Corbyn supporting Labour MSP Neil Findlay who told the Sunday Herald there was “no chance” of a challenge.
He said: “People back different horses in elections. The important thing now is to unite”.