Wings over Scotland case: blogger says Kezia Dugdale was ‘not honest’

The case will be heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
The case will be heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A defamation case brought by a controversial pro-independence blogger against Kezia Dugdale has led to claims by the pursuer’s lawyer that the former Scottish Labour leader had made crucial statements which were “not honest”.

Stuart Campbell, who runs the Wings over Scotland website, sued Kezia Dugdale last year after she accused him of making a homophobic tweet - an allegation that the blogger strongly denies.

Craig Sandison QC, who was representing Mr Campbell said the words written by Ms Dugdale in the Record had been “false and defamatory”, stating that the blogger’s comments could have been described as “disgraceful” but not that he was a homophobe.

Ms Dugdale, a Lothians MSP, was referring to a post about Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell, whose father, the Scottish secretary David Mundell, came out as gay in 2016.

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

Mr Sandison QC also questioned Ms Dugdale’s motivations and honesty.

Aidan O’Neill QC, who was representing the MSP, stated that the condemnation of the tweet as “homophobic” was “fair and honest comment”.

Mr Campbell is one of the best known Scottish political bloggers who rose to prominence ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.

Following the first day of legal debate between the lawyers from each side, Sheriff Kenneth McGowan has reserved judgment.