A letter written by Labour general secretary Jennie Formby to the Chair of the Scottish Parliamentary Party and circulated to all MSPs and members of Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee and obtained by the SKWAWKBOX from a recipient lays out clearly the extent of Labour’s commitment to former Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale and the party’s actions to fulfil that commitment.
Ms Dugdale has featured in the media recently to claim that the party had dropped a commitment to fund her defence in a libel action brought by the owner of the Wings over Scotland website for a column in the Record newspaper, but Ms Formby paints a different picture to MSPs, who are understood to have written to her in support of Ms Dugdale:
The letter makes clear that:
- The newspaper had offered to fund the case before Labour was involved
- Labour’s commitment was for initial funding with a view to achieving an early settlement – and this commitment was fulfilled
- that Ms Dugdale has not contacted Formby about further funding or to offer thanks for the support provided so far and has not provided evidence of any commitment by the party to go further
In addition, Formby expresses her mystification as to why previous general secretary Iain McNicol would have rejected an offer from the Record to fund the case when the article that led to the libel case resulted from the paper’s private agreement with Ms Dugdale to write it. She also clearly feels, to judge by the closing paragraph, that the raising of this issue is a distraction from the party’s mission in Scotland.
Kezia Dugdale has been contacted for comment.
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