Richard Lochhead may face police probe over ‘dirty tricks’

Ms Dugdale will decide  about making a formal complaint following the election after the Scottish Information Commissioner said she would investigate. Picture: TSPL
Ms Dugdale will decide about making a formal complaint following the election after the Scottish Information Commissioner said she would investigate. Picture: TSPL
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A Scottish Government minister could be facing a criminal probe after Labour leader Kezia Dugdale indicated she may complain to police about a “dirty tricks” campaign.

It emerged last week that she had applied to the SNP for work experience 13 years ago.

Environment secretary Richard Lochhead was later identified as the Nationalist MSP she had gone to as a student.

The Labour leader now says data protection laws have been broken and indicated Mr Lochhead was culpable – even if he did not leak the information himself.

Ms Dugdale will decide about making a formal complaint following the election after the Scottish Information Commissioner said she would investigate.

Ms Dugdale said: “He [Lochhead] is ultimately and legally responsible, so if I was him I would be very worried. It doesn’t matter if he wasn’t the one that handed it to a journalist, if that is what is trying to use as a defence.

“He is responsible for all the data relating to his constituents. He’s been an MSP since 1999 – how many people in the north-east have gone to him for help over these 17 years and how many are worrying about how safe that data is?”

She added: “I may take further action after the election. I am definitely going to reflect on my options.”

Mr Lochhead has insisted he did not go to a newspaper with the information and did not instruct anyone else to.