Borders MP offers backing to ex-Labour leader fighting libel action over claim of homophobia

Scottish Secretary David Mundell.Scottish Secretary David Mundell.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell.
Borders MP David Mundell has offered his backing to former Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale in a legal battle centred on his homosexuality.

Mr Mundell says he and his son Oliver, a Conservative MSP, would do “anything we can” to help Ms Dugdale contest a £25,000 defamation case brought by blogger Stuart Campbell.

That action was prompted by the Lothian Labour list MSP denouncing a 2017 tweet posted by Mr Campbell about the MP as homophobic in a newspaper column.

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Mr Campbell’s tweet described Oliver Mundell as “the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his sexuality sooner”.

Labour list MSP Kezia Dugdale.Labour list MSP Kezia Dugdale.
Labour list MSP Kezia Dugdale.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell, a father of three, came out as gay in 2016.

The 56-year-old, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale since 2005, says he has provided a witness statement for Ms Dugdale and is prepared to appear in court to back her case if necessary.