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Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale: A journalist outed me as gay

August 31, 2017

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 19: Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale gives her keynote speech to the party conference at the Glasgow Science Centre on March 19, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Ms Dugdale pledged in her speech to conference that Scottish Labour would guarantee everyone in Scotland would have a GP appointment within forty eight hours if the party win the Holyrood election in May. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The former leader of the Scottish Labour Party says she was outed against her will.

Kezia Dugdale, who resigned as her party’s leader Tuesday, says she did not consent to her sexual orientation being revealed.

Ms Dugdale says that she did not consent to left-wing magazine Fabian Review publishing the details of her private life, but they ignored her request.

The Lothian MSP says she had talked about her sexuality when asked by journalist Mary Riddell, as she did not wish to lie, but requested it be kept out of the article.

Ms Dugdale says it was far from the first time she had been asked the question, and on all previous occasions journalists had agreed to not include the fact in their write-ups.

“It wasn’t the first time I’d been asked [by journalists] about my sexuality,” she told the Victoria Derbyshire Show.

“I would always answer honestly, and then I would say, ‘I’d prefer you didn’t use that… I don’t think it matters.’

“Up until that day, everybody had respected that, and then that one journalist had decided no, it was a story,” she said.

The politician said she regretted not having “complete control” over the situation in 2016, due to being outed against her will

The Fabian Society said in a statement that the “wide-ranging and comprehensive on-the-record interview was conducted by an experienced, broadsheet journalist who followed usual journalistic practice”.

The article’s author, Mary Riddell, claimed that “at no point during the interview or afterwards did [Ms Dugdale] ask me not to publish her comments, which were recorded with her agreement.

“Nor has she ever complained to me that her on-the-record comments relating to her relationship had been published.”

Kezia Dugdale with her new partner Jenny Gilruth
Kezia Dugdale with her girlfriend, Jenny Gilruth

Ms Dugdale revealed last month that she is dating an SNP politician.

She surprised some this week by announcing er resignation as Labour leader.

In a resignation letter seen by The Courier, Ms Dugdale said: “I have given the task of achieving this all that I have.

“But with nearly four years now until the next Scottish Parliament elections, I am convinced that the party needs a new leader with fresh energy, drive and a new mandate to take the party into that contest.”

In an interview with BBC Scotland, Ms Dugdale said she wanted to give her successor the “space and time” to establish themselves.

More: fabian review, Kezia Dugdale, Labour party, lesbian, LGBT, mary riddell, Scotland

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