Theresa May Should Resign Following Election Result - Kezia Dugdale
9 June 2017, 14:24
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to resign following the General Election result.
She said Mrs May is making a "grave mistake'' in trying to form a government and Labour should be given the opportunity to form a minority administration.
Ms Dugdale also said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon should shelve plans for a second independence referendum after her party fought back to take six seats from the SNP.
Labour were all but wiped out in Scotland in 2015, retaining just Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, but they defied critics to return seven MPs in the snap election.
Ms Dugdale said: "We're only in this situation where we've had a General Election because the Prime Minister went to the country seeking a majority for Brexit - she has failed to get that.
"She has to resign.
"I think the Prime Minister is making a grave mistake in ploughing ahead in seeking to form a government.
"She only called this election seeking a majority. She should resign and Labour should be given the opportunity to form a minority government.''
On the issue of Scottish independence, she said Ms Sturgeon should recognise Scots have shown they do not want another poll.
She said: "I think there's only one thing she can hear from the results overnight and that's that Scotland rejects her plans for a second independence referendum.
"The one thing I would ask her to do is to shelve her plans for a second independence referendum.
"That's my priority because I think that's in Scotland's interests first and foremost.''
She also said she has been supportive of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn since he was elected last summer, although she opposed his leadership campaign.
She said: "I think I did a very fair and democratic thing, which was speak out during the UK leadership contest last summer.
"I've been nothing but supportive of Jeremy Corbyn in his leadership since that was confirmed last summer, in fact we've worked very closely throughout the length of this General Election campaign.''
Ms Dugdale was speaking at Rutherlgen Town Hall in South Lanarkshire where she met with the party's new MPs.
Mr Murray boosted his majority by more than 15,000 to secure his seat, beating the SNP's Jim Eadie by 26,269 votes to 10,755.
He said the election result shows Labour is ''back'' and had ''hammered the final nail in that coffin'' of a second independence referendum.
The first result announced in Scotland, Rutherglen and Hamilton West, was a Labour gain.
The party also picked up a seat in its one-time heartland of Glasgow, where it suffered humiliating defeat two years ago.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown's old seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath also returned to his party, as did the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency.
The key target seat of East Lothian and neighbouring Midlothian completed Labour's gains.