05:24, July 12 217 0 theguardian.com

2018-07-12 05:24:06
Wings Over Scotland blogger's defamation case against MSP starts

A £25,000 defamation action, brought by the notorious Wings Over Scotland blogger Stuart Campbell against the former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, will be heard in court in Edinburgh on Thursday.

Campbell sued the Lothian MSP last year after she accused him of making a homophobic tweet.

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

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

Campbell, who was born in Stirling and now lives in Bath, strongly denies the allegation.

The provocative blogger rose to prominence during the Scottish independence campaign of 2014, when he monitored the reporting of the constitutional debate by the mainstream media. Since then, his online tactics have caused his popularity to wane among those activists who favour a more open and inclusive movement.

A preliminary hearing has already concluded the case will begin with legal debate between the lawyers from each side, and neither Dugdale or Campbell will be called as witnesses this week.

The defamation action is scheduled for two days of debate at the Edinburgh sheriff court, with Sheriff McGowan presiding.