Excl: the facts about Dugdale funding do not match MSM narrative or MSPs’ gripe

dugdale

Kezia Dugdale as Scottish Labour leader

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:

  1. Labour staffers have been unable to find any evidence that Labour agreed open-ended no-limits funding for Ms Dugdale’s legal case
  2. 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
  3. Ms Dugdale wrote her column as part of a private – and presumably paid – arrangement with the Record
  4. There was no involvement or sign off by Labour on her column or her agreement to write it
  5. 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
  6. 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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29 responses to “Excl: the facts about Dugdale funding do not match MSM narrative or MSPs’ gripe

  1. I’m outraged, why on earth has the Labour Party paid anything at all towards her legal costs.

    She has obviously left herself open to legal action whilst working for an organisation that has absolutely nothing to do with the Labour Party and therefore the LP has absolutely no moral or legal responsibility to bail her out of a dilemma of her own making. this is entirely the responsibility of Ms Dugdale and her employer.

    These ‘officials’ should be held to account for throwing away the annual contributions of 2000 LP members.

    Who approved these payments of £100k+ to defend an action claiming £25k in damages, have her legal team never heard of an out of court settlement?

  2. If the “Insider’s” story is true, it doesn’t make sense that Labour would have spent £100,000 on the case.
    What are we NOT being told?

  3. dugdale almost made the party extinct in scotland and now expects the party to back her financially because shes a lesbian?

    dugdale’s excuse for quitting as SLP leader was every bit as risible as david laws’ reason for claiming expenses.

    Anyone what hides behind closet homosexuality these days simply cannot expect to be trusted, nevermind financially backed in a civil litigation.

    • You appear to me to be sailing a bit close to the homophobic wind there. Her sexuality is not the issue in the Skwawk’s article.

      • Personally, I don’t give a f**k what you think about it.

        Her homosexuality was NOT the reason dugdale stood down
        – yet dugdale, and ONLY dugdale, made it the issue. Nothing to do with her telling people they may as well vote anyone except labour. Nothing to do with almost wiping the party off the Scottish political map – oh, no – It was all about her being ‘outed’ as a lesbian, wasn’t it?

        As if being a lesbian is a bad thing – nobody gives a fuck anymore, apart from those who just never shut up about being gay ffs

        Dugdale’s given reason for stepping down’s a load of bollocks, and there’s nothing homophobic about it; so get off your fucking professionally offended high horses and face up to facts.

        And now you’re telling me her homosexuality isn’t the issue?

        In that case I’ll take the liberty of quoting the very the first paragraph,

        ”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.”

        So go on, have another guess…

        Its a civil case and she ought to pay for it herself.

      • Steady on. He’s got a point of view. We have got a lot of ground to make up in Scotland and people’s dues are essential. It’s a civil case so it has nothing to do with us, so keep you hands off our subs. Regards

    • In the closet gay people can’t be trusted… Where have I heard that before…

    • What has this got to do with court cases against abusive Tweets? I am not having a go but this post is offensive. Abusive tweets against MPs can be about anything, it’s not what it’s about that is the problem – the point about all this that MPs don’t usually take people to court and expect the party to pay for it as otherwise the party would be completely bankrupt as MPs in a ll party’s receive abusive tweets about race, sexuality, gender etc and class – Angela Reynor gets stick for having a working class accent.

      • Quite correct, Kate.

        If everyone expected the party to pay for court cases over offensive tweets & ‘hurt feelings’ there’d be no bleedin’ party ffs.

      • You hit he nail on the head. Bankrupt the party. Step one on the life or death struggle to defend the soul of the party. I’m on my way out it would be nice to have a real Labour mp as PM. Regardless of what Mr Richie Allen spouts non stop. Good post. Regards.

  4. Labour was right not to back Dugdale. The Party has far better ways to use the financial subscriptions of members. The decision had nothing to do with her sexual orientation; it was about spending the money on things that really matter to members.

    • She is one of those right-wing politicians who secretly despises the working class, and who uses important issues such as homophobia as a weapon to fight against democratic socialism.

      Brexit and antisemitism are similarly being used as weapons.

      It really exposes the immorality of our politicians when they use something like homophobia, which is a toxic bigotry that destroys so many peoples lives, to further their own selfish career driven agendas.

    • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-45679511

      What is the legal action about?

      The legal dispute stems from a column Ms Dugdale wrote for the Daily Record in 2017, which was critical of a tweet posted by Mr Campbell about a Conservative MSP.

      He wrote: “Oliver Mundell is the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his sexuality sooner.”

      Mr Mundell’s father – Scottish Secretary David Mundell – came out as gay in January 2016.
      Skip Twitter post by @WingsScotland
      Report

      Ms Dugdale’s column said she was “shocked and appalled” about “homophobic tweets”, saying that it was “utterly unacceptable for someone to face abuse because of their sexuality”.

      She added that “such comments are of course not unique to the man who tweets as Wings Over Scotland”, saying the account “spouts hatred and homophobia towards others”.

      • Let me get this straight – This isn’t even about a tweet directed at dugdale personally; but at somebody else? A tory?

        F**k me. I’m offended by everything tories say and do; not to mention a load of Labour MP’s (dugdale included) – if I join the party will they fund my legal bills so I can sue them en masse?

        Pay for it yer bastard self, dugdale. What happened to the dough it got for the Tv jolly in australia?

        Might well be an MSP but definitely got the westminster sense of entitlement.

        And typical of the kind of MP what wonders why they cop for ‘abuse’ ffs…

  5. I laughed out loud when I read the comment about not having enough money to Ms Dugdale and that the members subscription money was to fight elections.

    The Party managed to find in excess of £100k to throw Mark Wadsworth out of the party on trumped up charges. Other high profile cases would cost money in legal bods to advise the party. Then there’s the little people (known to some as members) how much has the party paid in admin costs, providing SARs, appeal hearings etc for about 11,000 cases of false antisemitism allegations?

    Do members realise how much money has already and is still being thrown at the false claims against other members? Not the best use of members money I would suggest.

    • I take on board what you have said about the miss-allocation of funds in the past but the majority of this expenditure is a legacy of the McNicol regime.

      We have a newly elected GenSec in charge of the NEC and this decision to cease funding Dugdale’s lawyers is obviously an indication of a welcome change in funding priorities.

      Jennie and her team have an enormous task before them to sort out the mess left by McNicol and his acolytes. However the new team appear to have made significant progress in sorting out the disciplinary procedures which had descended into dysfunctional chaos under McNicol.

      I agree with you about the enormous cost of dealing with all the false anti-Semitism claims but the LP party has little choice but to be seen to deal with these complaints properly. Hopefully now that there are more effective disciplinary procedures in place the volume of these false AS claims will be significantly reduced.

      Unfortunately constructive and effective change takes time, especially when having to contend with a byzantine rule book, vested interests and perverse procedures that allow NEC members who have just been rejected by the members in elections to remain in office until after conference thus enabling them to sabotage the democratic wishes of the membership for the next 12 months. Changing this one nonsensical rule would speed up change exponentially

      The members have a right to expect that the NEC members they have elected in the summer should be the ones influencing and voting on changes at conference in the autumn.

      Don’t get despondent the changes we all want are coming but there is an inertia built into the system which will need a concerted and sustained effort to overcome

  6. Imagine is the party funded court cases against every abusive tweet or Facebook post against MPs – Sadiq Khan and Diane Abbott’s court cases alone would bankrupt the party. I can’t believe this has gone to court and money has already been spent. I dod not approve of abuse Tweets but we need some perspective on this.

  7. “… already spent almost £100k”… “… could go to another half a million”

    WTF was she thinking?

    Anyone who could even contemplate wasting so much of members’ contributions on a lawsuit over such a trivial matter isn’t fit to be a Party member, much less an MP.

    • David – I think you’ll find that Kezia is the respondent in this case. She is being taken to court for accusing someone of being homophobic in her newspaper column. This is obviously the responsibility of the Daily Record and Kezia to sort out and has nothing to do with the Labour Party

      • Hi Steve, I understood her to be the respondent and should perhaps have written “defending” instead of “on” a lawsuit.
        Whether she requested help or it was volunteered by LP officer/s I still regard the responsibility for the waste of money to be hers.
        IOW even if it were offered, an honourable person would have refused LP financial assistance.

      • And by “trivial” I meant only that it was a case that should be settled out of court, not that homophobia is a trivial matter.
        In case anyone’s wondering.

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