Former ‘centrist’ Labour MP Michael Dugher, who has a controversial online record as an MP with a number of instances of behaviour drawing criticism, quit before the General Election to become the CEO of UK Music.
But controversy has followed Dugher into his new job and has led to him facing a formal complaint to UK Music from a member of the public over a series of objectionable tweets in which he attacks and mocks a former Corbyn staffer.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, who worked for the Labour leader’s communications team, has since become a regular feature on TV and radio talking about both politics and his campaign – alongside fellow reformed gambling addict Jason Haddigan – to curb the maximum stake on ‘fixed-odds betting terminals’ (FOBTs).
Dugher and Zarb-Cousin have some history, with the latter suggesting the former was involved in anti-Corbyn briefing when he was an MP:
No actually sometimes I was fielding between 80-100 calls a day from across the lobby, often rebutting stories briefed by you and your pals.
— Matt Zarb-Cousin (@mattzarb) April 15, 2017
But the feud spilled over, on Dugher’s side at least, into very sensitive territory when Dugher began to post mocking tweets about Zarb-Cousin’s gambling addiction – and it is this behaviour that led to a formal complaint made yesterday to Mr Dugher’s employers:
Julian is not the only one to have taken exception to Mr Dugher’s conduct. But when Zarb-Cousin and other Twitter user remonstrated with him about his conduct, he doubled down on his insults – with added hashtags:
I'm mocking the fact that you couldn't last more than 10 months for Jeremy & then worked for a casino guy. #hypocrite #rouletteboy
— Michael Dugher (@MichaelDugher) August 23, 2017
This in turn led to further rebukes from Twitter users:
No, by using the disgraceful #rouletteboy u r clearly demonstrating why you are not fit to represent others. Disgusting, juvenile behaviour
— Jay Holmes (@69jayh) August 23, 2017
To read the full, illuminating twitter thread, click here.
Mr Dugher had similar Twitter habits while he was still an MP, for example his response to a tweet about the Copeland by-election in March 2017:
Julian feels that such behaviour is not appropriate for the Chief Executive of a major music industry body. It will be interesting to find out what UK Music says about it in response to his complaint.
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