Kezia Dugdale caused voting stooshie in Holyrood but it's her backing for Owen Smith that's the real issue

KEZIA Dugdale got into a kerfuffle when she apparently failed to vote last week in Parliament.

Who knows whether she actually pressed the electronic voting button?

She insists she did but as with all touch screen devices, it’s best to double check.

The politically neutral Parliament authorities, who in my experience are sticklers for correct procedure, insist she didn’t.

Kezia’s inadvertent abstention resulted in Labour losing a vote they expected to win by allying with the Tories.

“Somebody’s for it tonight,” SNP MSPs jokingly taunted as we filed out of the chamber, laughing at our opponents instead of licking our wounds.

The joke’s delayed punchline came when the culprit was identified as the Labour leader – and I am sure she hoped that nearby Arthur’s Seat would open up and swallow her.

But it was a momentary embarrassment, rather than a tactical disaster.

Kezia’s problems come when she does express an opinion.

Like backing the Labour MPs who staged a catastrophic coup against the elected party leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Sadly, there was no technology around to save her from herself when she very publicly backed Owen Smith’s doomed attempt replace Corbyn.

She could have abstained in the contest – risen above the fray and said that in the interests of party unity it would not be appropriate for her as leader in Scotland to back either candidate.

Instead she got stuck in. And just to drive the point home, she appointed Scotland’s only Labour MP, Ian Murray to her Shadow Cabinet after he had resigned from Corbyn’s own team to join the plotters.

That’s called rubbing his face in it.

What lack of judgement led her to take this position which was clearly so doomed to failure?

Read the rest of my column here


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