Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has featured prominently in the media complaining about Labour’s alleged “fail[ure] to keep its promise” to fund her legal defence against a defamation brought by a blogger after she accused him of publishing a homophobic tweet.
Ms Dudgale has claimed that the party was going to fund her case and says she is now worried about possible bankruptcy, which would bar her from serving as an MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament).
Other MSPs have come out in support of her position and have been highly critical of the Labour Party.
However, senior Labour insiders have told the SKWAWKBOX that the facts of the matter, as far as they can identify them, paint a very different picture from that narrative:
The facts outlined by Labour insiders are as follows:
- Labour staffers have been unable to find any evidence that Labour agreed open-ended no-limits funding for Ms Dugdale’s legal case
- If it is true that ‘officials’ – Labour’s previous administration – told the Record, the paper in which Ms Dugdale made her comments, not to fund her case because the party would pay for it, it was a gross abuse of authority and would have exceeded any authority they had
- Ms Dugdale wrote her column as part of a private – and presumably paid – arrangement with the Record
- There was no involvement or sign off by Labour on her column or her agreement to write it
- In spite of this, Labour has already spent almost £100k – equivalent to the cost of two organisers for a full year – toward Ms Dugdale’s case. As one source put it, “it could go to another half a million, we simply don’t have that kind of cash to throw at it“
- All Labour’s income comes from members in fees and donations. The party has a duty to spend their money on organising, growing the party and winning election to government
The party is understood to be writing imminently to MSPs to set the record straight as well as communicating the information to members of the Scottish Executive Committee. It is, of course, unlikely that the mainstream media will pick up Labour’s side of the story, so it’s essential that members and supporters push it out on their social media to correct the imbalanced ‘MSM’ narrative.
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