Edinburgh city councillor victim of ‘nasty grudge campaign’ as community rallies to her defence

A hate banner on busy beach promenade branding an SNP councillor the ‘laziest in Edinburgh’ has been condemned as a ‘nasty grudge campaign’.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 4:55 am

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

The banner hung on a fence at Portobello beach front this week claims Kate Campbell is ‘never in the constituency’ and doesn’t answer emails and phonecalls.

But local councillors and community groups have rallied to her defence, blasting the banner as ‘cowardly’ and abusive.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Banner on portobello promenade has been widely condemned

On the banner which reads ‘what does she do all day?’ it’s claimed local services are ‘in crisis’ and councillor Campbell voted twice to shut down a service that feeds hungry children.

This is understood to refer to council withdrawing funding for the Venchie, a breakfast club in Craigmillar.

Funding was stopped after the council moved to a ‘universal’ model, bringing all breakfast clubs into schools which they said would prevent children facing stigma.

It’s not known who is responsible for the banner but it’s believed to be a smear attempt ahead of local government elections in May.

Mary Campbell, Green Councillor for Portobello said: “I was shocked to see this appalling public attack on Kate. Since we were elected in 2017 I have seen how dedicated she is,

how much she cares about the area, and her hard work as Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convenor. I know she is working all hours of the day, on not just ward casework

and campaigns, but major citywide issues like improving council housing repairs and tackling homelessness.

“This nasty grudge campaign is completely inappropriate, and to see it during a time when parties are trying to encourage more young women into politics is really upsetting.

This kind of targeted abuse is only going to discourage people from standing for election, and if I see anything like this again I will take it down myself.”

A spokesperson for Jake Kane Community Centre said: "This is a horrible, cowardly act. We would describe Kate as one of the most skilful, vocal and passionate elected members we have worked alongside. She always works hard for

the community and constituents and is a credit to Craigmillar and elsewhere. For our centre she has stood side by side on issues that matter most and has been vocal in her

support for the children, young people and families of this community. In our opinion she is hard working, accessible and a compassionate elected member who cares deeply about

people in our community and folk in Edinburgh. She has been at the forefront of challenging decisions and making sure that the interests of the people of Edinburgh are at the

centre of her decisions no matter how difficult these decision may be.”

A spokesperson for Portobello community council said: "Councillor Kate Campbell is a regular and valued attendee of the community council. I think in the current political climate – with direct threats to politicians – such a method of complainis at best misguided. There are proper ways to complain about the performance or conduct of elected councillors.”

Ms Campbell said: “It’s an honour to represent my local community. Nothing will stop me from working hard to make things better for the people I stood to serve.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.