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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale announces engagement to long-term girlfriend

Ruth Davidson congratulated the couple on the 'lovely news'

Olivia Blair
Monday 08 August 2016 12:15 BST
Kezia Dugdale and her partner Louise Riddell vote in Scottish parliament elections in May
Kezia Dugdale and her partner Louise Riddell vote in Scottish parliament elections in May (Getty)

The leader of the Scottish Labour party Kezia Dugdale has announced her engagement to her long-term girlfriend.

Ms Dugdale has been in a relationship with lecturer Louise Riddell since 2008. She revealed she was in a same-sex couple for the first time in April and she and Ms Riddell were pictured together casting votes at the Scottish elections a month later.

The leader of Scottish Labour said the couple “couldn’t be happier” after getting engaged on holiday in Mallorca recently.

She also said she and her fiancee will be celebrating by toasting those who campaigned for same-sex marriage.

“I’m utterly thrilled to be marrying the love of my life and we can’t wait to start planning,” she told the Daily Record. “We hope this news brings a smile to a few people’s faces and we’ll certainly be toasting all those campaigners and activists who made marriage equality possible.”

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, who announced her engagement to partner Jen Wilson in May, led the congratulatory messages on Twitter.

In April, Ms Dugdale, 34, credited her relationship with providing her with a haven away from her public role.

“I have a female partner. I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to,” she told the Fabian Review. “And there’s something too about how meteoric my career has been. I am generally calm, almost serene. I don’t get easily stressed or battered. But I need a bit of stability to do that, and that means my private life is my private life. That’s the thing I just have to have that nobody gets to touch, and that gives me the strength to be calm elsewhere.”

Ms Dugdale is one of four openly LGB Scottish party leader alongside Scottish Tory leader Ms Davidson, Scottish Greens leader Patrick Harvie and David Coburn, the leader of Scottish Ukip.

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