Man trying to sue Kezia Dugdale because she called him a homophobe increases claim

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is facing a lawsuit after she called a man a homophobe.

Pro-independence blogger Stuart Campbell has launched the lawsuit against Dugdale after she condemned him for comments that he made.

Earlier this year he sent a jibe aimed at the UK government’s newly-out Scottish Secretary David Mundell and his son Oliver Mundell.

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

The comments were widely condemned, with Ms Dugdale branding them “homophobic”, and revealing that he had started a lawsuit.

The Labour leader said: “I called out Mr Campbell for his homophobic comments [and now] Mr Campbell has written to me via his lawyer to demand a £10,000 payment for ‘damage to reputation’. I stand firmly by my comment: I have never kowtowed to a bully, and I will not start today.”

Campbell has now upped the sum to £25,000 from £10,000.

He said: “I absolutely and categorically reject any accusations that I’m a homophobe – it’s an outrageous and completely false allegation and we’ll be pursuing the case in court.

“It’s correct that we initially offered to accept £10,000 for a quick settlement, but received no reply, and on the advice of counsel it’s likely that we’ll seek a higher figure, particularly now that Ms Dugdale has compounded the offence by repeating the defamatory statements on national television and involving the First Minister.

“We’ve just had the timetable in from the judge a couple of days ago. Dugdale has to have her formal defence in by Aug 1. We’re seeking £25,000.”

Following Campbell’s initial request for £10,000, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused Dugdale of trying to use the situation as a “smokescreen”.

Ms Dugdale challenged the Scottish National Party’s ties to the blogger, adding: “SNP politicians continue to positively engage with him and to alert their followers to his beliefs.

“There are a few SNP politicians who have called him out, but [many] have actively encouraged him along. I have the list here in my hand, and it includes 10 [Scottish Government] ministers.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted she opposes homophobia but declined to disavow the blogger by name, claiming that the Labour leader was using the incident as a “smokescreen”.

She added: “It is deeply unfortunate for Kezia Dugdale to get up in here and suggest that I would condone homophobia in any way, shape or form.”