A PRO-INDEPENDENCE blogger has lost a £25,000 defamation case against Kezia Dugdale after she accused him of making homophbic remarks, despite a judge ruling her comments were incorrect.

The former Scottish Labour leader was the subject of a legal action by Stuart Campbell, who runs the website Wings Over Scotland, after she accused him of writing “homophobic tweets”.

After a three-day hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Nigel Ross has now issued a written judgement ruling Ms Dugdale will not have to pay damages.

He found that although she was incorrect to imply Mr Campbell was a homophobe in her Daily Record column, the article was covered by the defence of fair comment.

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The row centred on a tweet Mr Campbell, 51, sent in March 2017.

He wrote that the Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s son, the Tory MSP Oliver Mundell, was “the sort of public speaker that makes you wish his dad had embraced his homosexuality sooner".

David Mundell came out as gay in 2016 and has described it as “one of the most difficult things” he has ever done.

Writing in her Daily Record column a few days later, Ms Dugdale said she was “shocked and appalled to see a pro-independence blogger's homophobic tweets”, and accused Wings Over Scotland of spouting "hatred and homophobia towards others".

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Mr Campbell denied he is homophobic and insisted her comments were defamatory.

He previously told the court he was “absolutely horrified” to be accused of making homophobic remarks, and had consistently supported gay rights.

He called the claims "self-evidently ludicrous" and argued anyone who interpreted his remark in such a way was either dishonest or stupid – including gay politicians.

Sheriff Ross said: “Despite incorrectly implying that Mr Campbell is homophobic, her article is protected under the principle of fair comment.

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“She is not liable to pay damages to Mr Campbell.”

He found Mr Campbell does not hold homophobic beliefs or feelings, and his tweet was intended as an "insulting jibe" about Oliver Mundell.

The judge said Ms Dugdale's article was "accordingly defamatory of the pursuer", as it implied Mr Campbell is homophobic.

However, he ruled that the MSP's comments were fair "because the content of the tweet formed a basis of fact for a rational belief that it was derogatory about homosexual people". 

He said Mr Campbell had suffered "no quantifiable financial or other loss as a result of the article", and suffered no loss of influence. 

"The value of any loss would have been quantified at £100," he added.