Ex-Jim Devine employee demands £75k over comments

Ex-MP Jim Devine. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Ex-MP Jim Devine. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A FORMER employee of ex MP Jim Devine has urged a judge to award her £75,000 over ‘defamatory’ comments that the disgraced politician allegedly made about her.

Marion Kinley,50, told Lord Bannatyne that the former Labour Party politician spread lies about her visiting casinos and stealing money from him.

Ms Kinley worked for Mr Devine,60, as his constituency office manager when he sat as Labour MP for Livingston in West Lothian after he was elected in September 2005.

He was jailed for 16 months in March 2011 at the Old Bailey in London for fraudulently claiming expenses.

She is now suing him at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after raising a defamation action against the Devine, who once worked as a mental health nurse.

She claims that Mr Devine, of Blackburn, West Lothian, made a number of false allegations against her. She says that it has damaged her reputation and has made it difficult to earn a living.

On Thursday, Ms Kinley told Lord Bannatyne that he made those remarks whilst he was being investigated by the Metropolitan Police over his dodgy expense claims.

She added: “He knew what he was saying was false. He said it to save his own skin.

“He said these things to save his own skin and to protect himself from the forthcoming political storm.

“Mr Devine was knowingly making false statements. He has put me through the mill.”

Ms Kinley, of Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, spoke as she made her closing submissions in a defamation action.

She and Mr Devine are representing themselves in proceedings.

In his defences, Mr Devine maintains that he didn’t make any such comments and also claims that had he said the things claimed he would have been speaking truthfully.

She is seeking £75,000 compensation for the allegedly defamatory remarks.

The court had earlier heard Ms Kinley claim that Mr Devine had said that she had helped herself to bonus money that she wasn’t entitled to and that she was being investigated by the police.

The court also heard that before Devine was elected as an MP she had worked beside him previously at the trade union Unison.

On Thursday, Ms Kinley told the court that Devine told various people that she had a gambling addiction and visited casinos.

She also said that he had claimed that she had taken his money without having his permission.

She told the court that these statements had made it difficult for her to find work.

And she added that Devine made these statements at a time when Devine was being investigated over his own fake expense claims.

She added: “He has placed me under an intolerable amount of stress.”

However, Mr Devine denied that he had committed any wrong doing during his closing submission to the judge.

He added: “I did not make these statements.”

Lord Bannatyne told Ms Kinley and Mr Devine, of Blackburn, West Lothian, that he was reserving his judgement to a later date.

He will issue his decision at a later date.