Scottish Labour’s rising star Kezia Dugdale has been elected leader of the party after just four years as an MSP.
Ms Dugdale, 33, beat Holyrood veteran Ken Macintosh in a leadership election sparked by the resignation of former MP Jim Murphy shortly after Labour’s near wipeout in Scotland in the general election.
The result of the ballot was announced in Stirling, following an election campaign in which Ms Dugdale pledged to be a “fresh start” for Scottish Labour.
Ms Dugdale, the favourite to win the contest, won 72.1 per cent of the vote, while Mr Macintosh was backed by 27.9 per cent.
The new deputy leader was also announced, with Alex Rowley beating fellow MSP Richard Baker and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson.
Around 21,000 party members and supporters were eligible to vote in the contest, which was held on a one-person one-vote basis following reforms introduced by Mr Murphy.
Speaking after the result was announced, Ms Dugdale said:
I know that the past few months have been incredibly difficult for Labour members across the country. I know this because I have been out on the doorsteps, I have been there with you.
But I have a message for Labour Party members out there knocking their pan in for this party that we all love: we are down but we are not out.
She added: “I have a message for the people of Scotland too: take another look at the Scottish Labour Party.”