Kezia Dugdale has opened up about her sexuality as she pledged to use her position to “make a difference” for young LGBT people.

The Scottish Labour leader, who has previously steered away from talking about her private life, recently revealed she has a female partner. In an interview with PinkNews, Dugdale said she was “quite clearly gay” but that her choice of language, by not using the labels bisexual or lesbian, was a natural and not a political decision.

“I just said it in the most natural way to me. I wasn’t trying to make a political point one way or another. I did it in quite a casual sense,” she said. “I believe fundamentally in equality and because of that I don’t think who my partner is matters.

“That’s why I chose to use language like ‘I have a female partner’, it was nothing to do with labels. It has everything to do with how I would describe my life and my partner, and how I choose to talk about that.

“I’m quite clearly gay, it’s just the use of language that we’re talking about here and I just did it in a very natural way, in the way I would say to a complete stranger meeting for the first time or a friend or someone at work. It’s just how I live my life and I expect people to accept that.”

Dugdale said she had long used her position to champion LGBT rights, from signing the campaign for equal marriage in 2005 to supporting sexual health services in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

During the campaign trail yesterday the Labour leader visited a nursery in Glasgow, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was joined by her deputies John Swinney and Stewart Hosie to talk to voters in South Queensferry.