A case study of what can happen when a smear goes wrong.
'Wendygate' - Shock Claims of Labour 'Smear' Attempt
An email was sent to journalists
It contained false allegations and a mistaken identity
The contents were leaked to the intended ‘victim’
Who was behind the ‘smear gone wrong’?
The email was sent out on or around the 31st July 2010, just after articles appeared in the Scottish press covering Mr Ferguson’s FoI request. The ‘smear campaign’ was halted abruptly when Mr Ferguson became aware of the email after a journalist inadvertently let slip its contents to him. Mr Ferguson immediately challenged the falsehoods and was also able to point out the identity blunder.
Speaking to Newsnet Scotland Mr Ferguson claimed that the incident has caused himself and his wife considerable stress. He felt sufficiently intimidated that he decided to abandon his plan to call Wendy Alexander as a witness at his FoI Appeal hearing. His wife, who is Chinese, asked him to drop the FoI case.
Mr Ferguson said: "As far as the Freedom of Information case is concerned, I consider myself to be an ordinary person pursuing a legitimate concern through the appropriate legal channels. I have no affiliation to any political organisation whatsoever, and I've never at any time sought to make this a party political matter. I struggle to understand why they seem to think that this makes me fair game for one of their smear campaigns."
And in Mr Ferguson's own words today Labour and the 'smear gone wrong'