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Former employee tells defamation hearing ex-MP 'put me through mill'

A FORMER employee of ex MP Jim Devine has urged a judge to award her £75,000 over 'defamatory' comments that the disgraced politician allegedly made about her.

Marion Kinley, 50, told Lord Bannatyne that the former Labour Party politician spread lies about her visiting casinos and stealing money from him.

Ms Kinley worked for Mr Devine, 60, as his constituency office manager when he sat as Labour MP for Livingston in West Lothian, after he was elected in September 2005. He was jailed for 16 months in March 2011 at the Old Bailey in London for fraudulently claiming expenses.

She is now suing him at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after raising a defamation action against him.

She claims that Devine, of Blackburn, West Lothian, made false allegations against her. She says that it has damaged her reputation and has made it difficult to earn a living.

On Thursday, Ms Kinley told Lord Bannatyne that he made those remarks while being investigated by the Metropolitan Police over his expense claims.

She added: "He knew what he was saying was false. He said it to save his own skin. He said these things to protect himself from the forthcoming political storm.

"He has put me through the mill."

Ms Kinley, of Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, spoke as she made her closing submissions.

She and Mr Devine are representing themselves in proceedings.

In his defences, Mr Devine maintains he didn't make such comments and claims that had he said the things claimed he would have been speaking truthfully.

The court had earlier heard Ms Kinley claim that Mr Devine had said that she had helped herself to bonus money that she wasn't entitled to and that she was being investigated by the police.

Devine denied that he had committed any wrong doing. He added: "I did not make these statements."

Lord Bannatyne's decision will be issued later.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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