KEZIA Dugdale will face a major fight to get backing for more powers to be handed to Scottish Labour after an influential group close to Jeremy Corbyn last night signalled its members would not support them.

The challenge emerged after key members of the faction allied to the UK leader underlined concerns about the proposals, which also call for the Scottish Labour leader to be allowed to appoint a member of her front bench on to the party’s ruling body.

Dugdale was delighted to get approval for the plans at a meeting of the party’s national executive committee on Tuesday night. But in order to be implemented they need to be approved by delegates to the party conference in Liverpool next week.

Vince Mills, vice-chairman of the left-wing group Campaign for Socialism – Momentum Scotland, told The National: “To cut a long story short I don’t think the party conference should pass this and I’m confident that is the position of Momentum as a whole.”

Dugdale is a major critic of Corbyn and jeers broke out among a section the audience during a recent hustings event in Glasgow when his rival Owen Smith said she “was doing a brilliant job”.

The Scottish Labour leader secured agreement from the party’s NEC to give full autonomy to the party north of the Border during an eight-hour meeting in London on Tuesday.

Under the plans, Dugdale would also be allowed to appoint a frontbench MSP to the NEC, a move also being planned for the Welsh party.

Critics from Momentum are opposed to the move as they believe it could undermine Corbyn’s influence on the ruling body as Dugdale is likely to appoint an ally in tune with her views from the centre of the party.

“People only heard about the proposals and the conference is in a few days. There’s been no time for scrutiny or discussion,” said Mills.

“In principle, we support Scottish and Welsh representation on the NEC and we are happy with more auto-nomy for the Scottish Labour Party, but we need more time to think about the democratic implications of it and how it is going to work. Our position is that we will want it to be referred back to the national executive.”

In a statement on Tuesday night, Dugdale said that if passed, the plans would signal “the biggest change in how Scottish Labour is run in a generation”.

It was her key aim to make the party fully autonomous in a bid to overcome “the branch office” description famously made by former party leader Johann Lamont when she stood down following the independence referendum two years ago.

Rhea Wolfson, a leading Scottish member of the Momentum group, who was recently elected to the NEC, has also failed to support the plans.

“It would be totally naive to say there is no political context to this decision, of course there is,” she said when interviewed on the

BBC’s Scotland 2016 programme on Tuesday night.

“It is important to have a stronger Scottish voice on the NEC, but this isn’t the way to do it. I am sad that there won’t be a directly elected

Scottish representative on the NEC. It’s a shame.”

She added: “On the Scottish autonomy [plans], I think a question will be raised around the fact that the regional reps appointed for Scottish and Wales will not be elected and will not be accountable to anyone.”

Under Dugdale’s plan the Scottish party would have considerable new powers, allowing it full control over policy making, including in reserved areas such as defence. Its opposition to the renewal of Trident, passed at the Scottish Labour conference last year, already puts the party at odds with UK policy, which supports renewal.

Dugdale’s plans would also mean the Scottish Labour Party Executive Committee (SEC) would be responsible for the selection of all UK parliamentary candidates in Scotland as well as being responsible for the management of constituency parties in the country.

Momentum’s views strongly reflect the mood among Labour’s grassroots members who are expected to re-elect Corbyn as leader.

However, much depends on whether Dugdale can persuade others groups in the party to back her plans, including trade union delegates.

Stephen Pound, the London MP, appeared to give the plan more support, believing Dugdale herself could join the NEC as the Scottish representative. “Why on Earth would a London MP have anything to say on this subject?” he told

The National.

Told that the matter would go to the UK conference, he added: “Kezia is a bright, intelligent and positive person who would be an absolute adornment to the NEC. We need people with her brain power on the NEC. However, I rather suspect she has work to do in Scotland rather than spending time down here.”