Kezia (34) was born in Aberdeen, and was elected an MSP for the Lothian Region in 2011, she is currently Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
After finishing school at Harris Academy in Dundee she studied Law at the University of Aberdeen before completing a masters in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Kezia held a variety of jobs during and after her studies. They included working in pubs, coffe shops and a call centre.
She then started working as a Welfare Officer at the Edinburgh University Students Association and later joined the National Union of Students as a public affairs officer.
Immediately before being elected she worked as an office manager and policy adviser for George Foulkes in the Scottish Parliament.
Kezia is a Scottish Labour Co-operative MSP in the Scottish Parliament. She previously chaired the cross party group on Drugs and Alcohol and currently co-chairs the group on Children and Young People.
She previously served as Scottish Labour’s Shadow Minister for Youth Employment and as Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.
During the referendum Kezia took part in a number of debates including the STV debate, which saw her face of against Elaine C Smith of the Yes campaign.
She set up and led the Debtbusters campaign across Scotland aimed at cracking down on and tackling payday loan companies street by street. This campaign was successful in pressuring the Scottish Government to start producing ‘wealth warnings’ on the dangers of these predatory legal loan sharks, got them banned from many local authority computers including public libraries and led the charge in forcing the Scottish Government to change the law around debt and introducing the Fast Track Debt Assistance Scheme.
Kezia also set up and led the Scottish Labour campaign Every Step, the campaign for affordable and flexible childcare, which engaged with thousands of parents and community groups across Scotland in developing Scottish Labour’s policy on providing a better childcare system for parents across Scotland.
Kezia won the election for Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party by securing 63% of the vote that included Scottish Labour members, parliamentarians and affiliated organisations.
After the resignation of Jim Murphy as Leader, Kezia contested the 2015 Scottish Labour Leadership contest, the first under a new electoral system of one-member-one-vote. Kezia defeated fellow MSP Ken Macintosh by winning 72.1% of the vote and became Scottish Labour Leader on 15th August 2015.
Kezia has been selected as the candidate for Edinburgh Eastern, where she’s lived for the past decade, for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. She has a weekly column in the Daily Record every Monday.