Dugdale was born in Aberdeen in 1981. Her father, (a supporter of Scottish independence) is a former Elgin High School depute rector Jeff Dugdale, now retired. Her mother divorced, also a teacher, lives in Dundee, hence her interest in education. Dugdale resides in Edinburgh.
She studied Law at the University of Aberdeen for a time but gave up and completed a Masters in Policy Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
She then worked for Edinburgh University Students’ Association and the National Union of Students Scotland.
Before entering the Scottish Parliament as a list MSP she was employed as a SpAd working for Lord Foulkes as his office manager and political adviser.
She is a Scottish Labour and Co-operative Member and was elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, as Labour’s second candidate on their list for the Lothian Region.
She was appointed to the post of Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning on 29 June 2013.
In 2014 she was elected as Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, replacing Anas Sarwar, beating Katy Clark.
Jim Murphy, the leader of Labour in Scotland, was a Westminster MP, meaning that she was de facto leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament.
5 Sep 2008; The daughter of an SNP Councillor was pictured on video taken in Pakistan firing a Kalashnikov AK47 assault rifle. The Scottish unionist press demanded Alex Salmond sack him.
The Scottish Nationalists decided not to expel Jahangir Hanif for showing his children how to use the weapon during the trip into the mountains near the Kashmir border in 2005. But his daughter, Noor, pleaded with Mr Salmond, the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, to throw her father out of the party.
In a letter to Mr Salmond, the 17-year-old wrote: ‘I cannot believe he has been let off. My siblings and I were put in an environment where people were pointing loaded AK47 guns at each other. “I think he should be fired to make an example, so that other people think twice before playing with guns and putting children in harm’s way. “I don’t think the matter has been taken seriously enough. How can a man who can’t look after his children be allowed to represent the public?”
The incident was filmed when aged 14, she was taken with her brother and three sisters in a van with blacked-out windows to a training camp near the Afghan border and shown how to fire the assault rifle. Mr Hanif, a 46-year-old Glasgow businessman, apologized, pointing out it happened long before he became a Councillor for the city. He said: “I am going through a messy and painful divorce. I’m saddened by the fact my children are being dragged into this situation. The allegations against me are false.”
Political opponents described the decision of the SNP’s disciplinary committee to suspend rather than expel him as “outrageous”.
Dugdale got hold of a copy of the letter, and posted the content full and unedited on her blog. Needless to say the proverbial hit the fan and she was threatened with court action unless she removed the post, which she did. But she then posted a statement;
A Brief Statement – Posted by Kezia Dugdale on 15 Sep 2008
A letter by Noor Hanif (daughter of the suspended SNP Councillor Jahangir Hanif) raised a number of very serious allegations concerning Councillor Hanif’s conduct. This letter was removed from this site after Councillor Hanif’s solicitors intimated their intention to raise a summons in the Court of Session for interim interdict. The firm of Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co., gave me 15 minutes to remove the letter. I complied with that request. I do not have the means or resources to engage in expensive litigation and can only hope that the First Minister Alex Salmond, ( to whom Miss Hanif addressed her letter, will have the courage, conviction and responsibility to respond to the allegations raised therein and take the appropriate action thereto.
Comment: The press may have been right headed in reporting the “Kalashnikov” bit of the story but wrong headed in ignoring the disturbing familial strife clearly stimulated by malcontent persons for some other purpose. Whilst Dugdale’s had the right to publish a summary of events her verbatim repetition of the unproven allegations did indeed constitute defamation.
20 May 2009; Kezia in danger of being sued again
Well that’s the last time that Tory Bear (TB the Blogger) puts up a story and then goes out for the afternoon. How charming to return home to being called a liar by none other than Dugdale, personal assistant to the upstanding and honourable Lord George Foulkes.
Torybear put a story up earlier that he spotted on the “Tweet4Labour” Twitter feed this morning. With a simple “Welcome! the Chief Whip @nickbrownmp” Tweet4Labour drew Torybear’s attention to the fact that Nick Brown was supposedly on Twitter. He then took a screen grab of Brown’s feed and the rest they say is history. So Nick Brown’s office denied it’s him which is hardly a surprise yet there seems to be a bit of a discrepancy in Dugdale’s logic.
She instantly accused Torybear of foul play: “It’s clearly a black op by Torybear – perhaps even endorsed by Conservative HQ – and it has largely worked.”
Kez!!!! Torybear knows that working for Foulkes can hardly teach positive moral values and a respect for the law, but that is libel plain and simple and it needs to be retracted. You have made a shoddy assumption and you have absolutely sod all to back up your claims. (Torybear)
Comment: Dugdale acting first and thinking later. This trait will land her in big trouble one day.
14 June 2012; Labour MSP Dugdale savaged after modern apprenticeships attack backfires
A Labour MSP who this week launched a high profile attack on the Scottish Government’s modern apprenticeship scheme been accused of misrepresentation after official figures showed a more than 100 per cent improvement on when her own party were in office.
Labour’s Youth Employment spokesperson Kezia Dugdale had accused the SNP of “massaging” numbers after official figures showed that 39% of modern apprentices had been in employment for more than six months before beginning their training.
Dugdale repeated her attack in the chamber during First Minister’s questions where she asked Mr Salmond to be “straight with the people” She said: “Everyone in this chamber wants to tackle Scotland’s youth unemployment crisis, but to do so we need the facts. “The people of Scotland were led to believe by this First Minister, week after week, that these 25,000 apprenticeships were created to help the 100,000 young Scots out of work. “But now we know at least 10,000 of these went to folk already well-established in jobs.”
In response the First Minister launched a withering attack on the Labour MSP and pointed out that there were now double the number of modern apprentices in Scotland than when Labour left office. “I have to say I have watched Kezia Dugdale over the last few days in what I think has been one of the most disreputable campaigns against the modern apprenticeship scheme.” he said.
Alex Salmond went on to reveal that the system that Dugdale was criticizing was the same one that was in operation when her own party was in office and that the figures for those Scots aged 16 to 24 had dramatically improved.
He added: “I have had a look at the figures” and pointed out that Labour had voted against the SNP’s modern apprenticeship policy of 10,000 places per year.
“I have looked in particular at the very heart of Kezia Dugdale’s complaint, and that is of course if you look at the 16 to 24 year old who dominate the courses … the number who had been in employment for more than six months is 23 per cent.
“That means 80 per cent of new workers going into apprenticeships in the 16 to 24 age group. “I have looked at what is the comparison, what is the figure when the Labour party were in office in 2006. The figure is 49 per cent.”
“In other words, when Labour were in power, with a reduced number of apprenticeships, half of young people had been in a job for six months or more.”
He ended his reply by angrily condemning what he described as Dugdale’s “affrontery” in attacking the current modern apprenticeship scheme.
Commenting, SNP MSP Marco Biagi – a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee accused the Labour MSP of having misrepresented the programme and said: “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.
Labour clearly are not content with just voting against 25,000 modern apprenticeships, now Dugdale is intent on trying to misrepresent the Modern Apprenticeship programme itself.
“Ms Dugdale accused the Scottish Government of ‘massaging’ the figures on Modern Apprentices – even though it runs the system in the same manner as when Labour were in power, and that under the SNP the number of apprenticeships has vastly increased.
“Labour’s grand accusation was that some apprenticeships had been in employment for over 6 months – this has always been the case and provides welcome opportunities for many to improve their skills in their workplace. “And as the First Minister revealed today, a far higher rate of unemployed young people have entered apprenticeships than when Labour were last in power.”
The Labour campaign featured prominently on BBC Scotland with TV and Radio appearances for Dugdale.
The story was featured on Sunday’s politics show with news bulletins throughout the day, it also featured prominently on BBC Radio Scotland on Monday and BBC Scotland’s online news.
However, in Thursday’s BBC Scotland broadcast of First minister’s questions the broadcaster cut away from the programme just as Mr Salmond was preparing to highlight the figures from 2006.
On Monday, appearing on Radio Scotland in order to address Labour party claims, Scottish Government Minister Angela Constance twice attempted to draw attention to Labour’s record from 2006 but was prevented from doing so by BBC presenter Gary Robertson. (newsnet)
27 Jan 27 2014; The howls of the cyberbritbrats
Dugdale was pictured in the Mail in an unflattering photo which made her look like a refugee from the former East Germany who had narrowly escaped the Stasi. She was apparently upset that she had ‘recently’ been the recipient of an offensive tweet, although it turned out the tweet had been sent to her over a year ago. The tweet wasn’t helpful to the independence cause and was crass and stupid, but it was not a direct threat. It read “dancing on the head of a pin? I wish Kezia Dugdale would dance on the head of a bayonet”. (weegingerdug)
7 Nov 2014; Newly appointed deputy leader of the Labour Party in Scotland supports retention of nuclear weapons
Dugdale’s website included a statement on nuclear weapons which failed to challenge the proposal to spend £100 billion on Trident replacement. Her views mirror those of official UK Labour Party policy, which is to support Trident replacement.
Dugdale believes that decisions made on the future of Trident should be based on evidence (including cost considerations) rather than on political party interest – and whilst she welcomes the reduction in the number of missiles and warheads that took place after the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, she would like to see an end to nuclear weapons not just in Scotland, but globally.
But removing nuclear weapons from Scotland would only cause them to be redeployed somewhere else in the UK or abroad, at doubtlessly considerable expense to the taxpayer. Instead, she supported reciprocal international agreements where nuclear and other mass destruction weapons are removed on a permanent basis.
Her position ignores research by Scottish CND which indicated that removing nuclear weapons from Scotland would be likely to lead to disarmament. (banthebomb)
21 Nov 2014; Another reason why Labour lost Scotland
Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale today marked the historic nomination of Scotland’s first female First Minister with a Daily Record column in characteristically sour style, which waited until the second paragraph before sticking in a Margaret Thatcher comparison.
It wasn’t until later that it got confusing. (Actually, that’s not quite true – the very first paragraph opened with the line “I haven’t seen a coronation quite like it since, well, the coronation”.
The Coronation happened in 1953, while Dugdale was born in 1981. But we’ll let that one slide.)
Following on from a stream of disingenuous waffle Dugdale challenged Nicola Sturgeon to act on three polices in her First Ministership:
“Take on the big six energy firms, forcing them to freeze bills and rein in eye-watering profits earned on the backs of working people.”
“Bring back the 50p tax rate for top earners, so those with the broadest shoulders carry their fair share.”
“Tax [bankers’] bonuses and use the cash to create jobs for young people.”
Alert readers will of course have noticed the nonsense. Not one of the foregoing recommended actions were within the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament. All were reserved to Westminster.
And she is regarded by some as the brightest of Scottish Labour’s young minds. God help them
19 Dec 2014; The Oil Price Fluctuates, Who Knew? – Not Dugdale!
Dugdale is economically illiterate, and in attempting to spout misinformation to the electorate she is just carrying on in the same theme that lying Labour have constantly adopted. Pick a subject, any subject, look for fault, and blame the SNP Government. It matters not whether it is a devolved matter or not. Labour believe the Scottish public are too stupid to notice. Well, there are at least 1,650,000 of us who no longer are. Labour are devoid of talent and have no future here. Dugdale and Murphy least of all.
How much more ill-judged would this be if you had spent two years telling the people of “Scotlandshire” that they were too useless to manage their own oil resources – an asset which could only be protected by the ‘broad shoulders’ of Westminster? The very government whose £30 billion tax grab had just caused the very uncertainty which has led investors to take a short term view of the North Sea.
And what new depth of hypocrisy would be plumbed by insisting the SNP take responsibility for North Sea job losses, while desperately seeking to keep the necessary powers as far from Holyrood as possible? Clearly, no sane politician would knowingly embark on such a ridiculous course.
19 Dec 2014; Labour Party claim -Kezia Dawgdale “hacked by North Koreans”
The BBC wishes to apologize unreservedly to Labour and their “Scotlandshire’s” Deputy Dawdale for screening her inaugural questions in last Thursday’s FMQ’s.
In the coverage broadcast live by this channel, Deputy Dawgdale appeared to blame the Scottish Government for the recent fall in oil prices and the predicted reductions in both production and investment which is widely predicted to follow. Further, she seemed to claim that the drop in oil prices was somehow a direct result of the projections published by the Scottish Government prior to the Referendum. Naturally, this would be a preposterous position to take, particularly on your first ever attempt at First Minister’s Questions. More particularly if you had just been promoted to Deputy Dawgdale from your previous post of first Fifi le Bon to Lord Ffoulksakes of Tankedupness, and therefore had so very much to prove. (feeltiptop.com)
22 Aug 2014; Dugdale and friend do not know the difference between the GDP and the Economy
What a disaster for the no campaign trying to manipulate figures to make Scotland look skint!!! We are told we are too wee and too stupid by people claiming to be Scottish on a regular basis by the no campaign. Now they have been caught out big time with lies. Trying to deceive the Scottish public is disgusting. If a large number of Scottish female voters see this they will be furious. And by the way, no foreign oil company owns rigs in Scotland. They pay for a licence to drill. The UK government control north sea oil licenses.
20 January 2015: Dundee education boss rejects claims by Scottish Labour’s deputy leader that she was snubbed from visiting her old school because “SNP councillors haven’t been yet”.
Former Harris Academy head girl Dugdale said a planned visit to the school, which is being rebuilt, was cancelled and claimed the decision was “overtly political and completely unnecessary”.
But education convener Stewart Hunter said it was “only fair” the school’s ward’s elected representatives, which include a Labour councillor and local Labour MP, get to see the site first on a planned visit on Friday.
Dugdale said: “The visit was arranged and then I was told I wasn’t welcome. The reason we were told was that the SNP councillors hadn’t visited the school yet and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to attend until that had happened. It was overtly political and completely unnecessary. They’re building a new school. It’s a good thing for Dundee and I want to celebrate it and I want to see Dundee thrive. It’s a real shame I’m not getting through the front door.”
Mr Hunter responded: “It isn’t actually so the SNP councillors can attend, it’s locally elected members and that includes two members of her own party. It’s not politicizing it, It’s just to be fair to local elected members who have been involved with this right from the start. It’s not that we were stopping her. To be fair, we did invite her to attend as well, or come on a subsequent day she could fit in her diary.” (The Courier)
Locals commented: What a little Liar and Diva. Dugdale heard what she wanted to hear, rather than what was said. A not uncommon problem with her and her labour Party colleagues. Explain why a Labour politician, who is a not locally elected official, should expect preferential treatment in what is not her capacity? Why couldn’t she just ask to accompany the others on Friday?
Because Murphy told her; ‘Hey Kez, perfect opporchancity to stir it up, go on hen, get intae them. What, Jim McGovern, nah don’t worry about his feelings, he’s out on his a88e soon anyway’ Hence the ‘big story’.. Will be interesting to see what the other political heavyweights like the Courier?!! say about this non event.
It appears it is Dugdale who is turning a perfectly reasonable suggestion into an anti SNP rant. She wasn’t barred from the site and actually invited along on the day everyone else is going. It seems it is her ego that has been pricked and she’s throwing a tantrum at having lost a personal photo opportunity. What constituency does she represent?
If its not important who is there first, why is Dugdale so het up about it? I think she needs to get over herself. Until Dugdale went public, who had heard of this ‘snub’?
It should not be a competition but it would indeed appear that it is. Dugdale who is turning it into one and with her own party as well. As Mr Hunter pointed out the proposed visiting party included a local Labour councillor and Mr McGovern, the only Labour MP in Dundee.
I think it only fair that McGovern gets first dibs while he still retains his Westminster seat. It’s ok for Dugdale, she has until next year before she has to worry about her position. Big hoohah over nothing but I have not seen so high profile coverage of her boss visiting Dundee yesterday. Both cut from the same cloth sadly. It also begs the question, has Dugdale nothing better to worry about, like getting ready to read up on what Jim tells her to have a go on at FMQ’s?
Odd she didn’t know that there are Labour councillors in situ. Hadn’t done her homework! Those who work in a constituency getting to see the results of the decisions they made ahead of some outside visitor for a photo in a press release? Seems fair. If I were anything to do with Harris academy I’d not want her associated with them in any way, What a shocking indictment on Scottish education she is.
Just for the record, have checked other periodicals for any mention of the perceived ‘snub’ to the Deputy branch manager, so it would appear that it suits the Courier to bring this up as it suits their anti SNP stance.
Also, nothing mentioned anywhere I can see about the Branch manager visiting Dundee yesterday with the ‘shallow cabinet’. Consequently not sure if Dugdale was there or not. If so she could have nicked up for a wee sneaky peek. It’s the Scottish Labour way usually.
10 Apr 2015: Teacher parents: as if Dugdale didn’t have enough to worry about
Dugdale went wrong having a teacher for a parent. If I could give one piece of advice to the youth of tomorrow it would be this – never have a teacher for a parent.
Her papa is Jeff Dugdale, retired English teacher and former depute rector of Elgin High. He’s also a keen philatelist, even keener SNP supporter and now has several thousand new Twitter followers after showing his daughter the sharp side of his keyboard.
Dugdale tweeted a link to a news article in a right wing unionist paper (close to her heart) which stated that Nicola Sturgeon preferred a Tory Party election win in England. The source, an alleged leaked Scottish Office memo proved to be abject nonsense. Utter tripe.!!!
Her father responded to her tweet with the teacher parent’s typical staccato sting and utter lack of reticence about humiliating his child in public. Even though she is the adult deputy leader of a political party.
He blasted: “Check facts before opening mouth, Kezia!”. (The Herald)