Kezia Dugdale, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, has been met with an outpouring of support after revealing she has a female partner, as supporters also praised the interview for focusing on politics rather than her sexuality.

Dugdale, 34, was cheered by supporters from within politics and beyond for saying she is in a relationship with a woman, but doesn't feel she "needs" to talk about it.

Speaking about her private life for the first time in an interview with the Fabian Review, Dugdale said: "I have a female partner. I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to".

She was praised for her "inspiring" openness and commenters also celebrated the fact that her revelation was not a major part of the interview article, which was dominated by her views on the EU and Scottish independence.

Dugdale said that she valued privacy after her "meteoric" arrival in the public eye after being elected to the Scottish parliament in 2011 and becoming the leader of Scotland's Labour Party in 2015.

But she tweeted on Saturday to thank supporters for the "lovely messages" she had received since the interview's publication.

Thank you for all the lovely messages of support - appreciated

— Kezia Dugdale (@kezdugdale) April 2, 2016

"There’s something too about how meteoric my career has been. I am generally calm, almost serene," she explained in the interview.

"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."

Figures including Christian rock star Vicky Beeching and former MSP Margaret Smith replied to her on Twitter, telling her: "It really matters when politicians stand up and come out" and that others would "now stand taller because of your openness".

@kezdugdale So impressed by your interview. Cheering you on!

— Vicky Beeching (@vickybeeching) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale All the best Kez. It really matters when politicians stand up and come out. Big hugs from Suzanne and I on our honeymoon xx

— Margaret Smith (@Caledoniapa2) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale so many others will now stand taller because of your openness.

— RobertMacmillan (@robfmac) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale We would like to add our message of support. This is one subject where there is genuine consensus.

— 45% and Rising (@comeandjoinus45) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale Just catching up with the news. Awesome stuff pic.twitter.com/fnpvfY7BPo

— James Wrobel (@corneliusbeers) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale v proud of you and pleased for you x

— Tom French (@tomfrench85) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale Thank you for opening up. Makes such a difference to have visible role models; it is - and will be - hugely appreciated!

— Mike (@thefourthcraw) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale Not easy to have a private life in the public eye so well done and I hope you get the privacy everyone needs.

— Kirsteen (@kittysull1) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale here's another one - proud of you

— Iain McGill (@IainMcGill) April 2, 2016

So proud @kezdugdale to live in this country where so many people feel comfortable to be themselves. #BeYourself pic.twitter.com/KG9aaozWFm

— Rob McDowall MEA (@robmcd85) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale Its a brave, wise and inspiring decision to open up.Respect and gratitude for your integrity and voice.

— MandyHill (@Climbeveryhill) April 2, 2016

A 14 year old me would be so relieved and happy to know being gay is ok. A 44 year old me is very proud. Good for you, Kez. @kezdugdale

— Gavin Scott (@GavScott) April 2, 2016

Some commenters also praised the fact that the Fabian Review interview focused on politics, while keeping the information on Dugdale's sexuality to a small paragraph in the middle of the piece.

@kezdugdale best part of that was the politics being the main story. Thanks to all the trailblazers before us that made that happen

— Denise Christie (@densherryboe) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale loving it that your coming out has caused less of a stir than "conceivable" support for independence Go us!

— Michael Mooney (@Michael_Mooney) April 2, 2016

@kezdugdale hugs 2 u Kez. Scotland has come a v long way in a short space of time.Fact that it's not the main issue 2day speaks volumes.

— Sarah Chisnall (@sarah_chisnall) April 2, 2016

Dugdale said in the interview that "it's not inconceivable" that she could support Scotland leaving the UK if the UK leaves the EU, the Press Association reported.

She said she "would very much like" to remain part of both the UK and EU, but asked where her "loyalty" would be if there was an overall vote to leave in the EU referendum but the majority of Scots wanted to remain.

She told the Fabian Review: "I've never contemplated that. I really wouldn't like to choose, because what I want to do is the best possible thing for Scotland. (I would be) putting Scotland first."

When pushed on the topic and asked if she would "argue, for Scotland's sake, against the UK Union", Ms Dugdale said: ''Possibly. It's not inconceivable."

Ms Dugdale later moved to clarify her position in a statement, saying: "As I made clear in the leaders' TV debate this week, Labour has ruled out a second independence referendum. We won't introduce one in government and we would vote against one if it's introduced by any other party.

"I campaigned as hard as anybody to ensure that Scotland remained part of the UK. The collapse in the oil price showed that the best way to secure our public services is to stay in the UK.

"I would vote to stay in the UK in any future referendum."

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Show more