David Leggat

Today I received good news from my union.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) formally communicated to me that a complaint that I had made about another NUJ member, a Mr David Leggat, had been upheld.

I have been in trade unions since I had my first job as a teenager in Glasgow in the 1970s.

Being in the National Union of Journalists means a great deal to me and I enjoy hugely the voluntary effort that I put into the NUJ.

I have been a member of my union for many years and I am currently on the Irish Executive Council, the New Media Industrial Council and was recently appointed the editor of the Irish Journalist.

Within the NUJ I see two things that I consider to be essential to any functioning democracy; a free press and trade union organisation.

The solidarity principle is inimical to the neo-liberal globalised world where everyone sees themselves as out on their own against everyone else in the world of work.

Central to the NUJ since the 1930s is that the union’s members sign up to our code of conduct.

In the aftermath of Leveson it is even clearer than ever that an absence of NUJ organisation in a media workplace can lead to an ethical vacuum.

I would wager that if the NUJ had been recognised and established within News International then no one would have thought it a good idea to hack into a missing child’s voicemail.

When I decided to lodge a complaint against Mr Leggat in November 2011 it was not something I did lightly or without a great deal of thought beforehand.

This is the first time I have ever taken such a course of action against anyone in the NUJ and I trust I will never have to do this again.

However, I felt that I had no choice given the way in which Mr Leggat was persistently characterising me on his blog.

I do not know Mr Leggat and he does not know me.

We have never met.

This is the first time I have ever written about Mr Leggat and I do not intend to write about him again.

If he was still writing for a newspaper within the United Kingdom then I would have sued that title had any of his blogs about me been filed as copy and passed for publication.

Two other members of the union also complained about Mr Leggat to the NUJ and these complaints were heard together.

Brian McNally of the Sunday Mirror complained at the same time as myself and latterly so did Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.

Both Brian and I submitted written evidence to the Ethics Council that alleged that Mr Leggat’s writings about us were, in part, motivated by anti-Irish racism and we believed that this could be clearly discerned by examining his blog.

The day before the hearing was about to take place Mr Leggat resigned from the union.

However, the hearing went ahead regardless.

I have been told that the following statement will go into the NUJ’s house magazine:

“Following an Ethics Council investigation of a Rule 24 complaint, the NEC upheld the ruling that David Leggat had breached the union’s code of conduct and agreed that the former NUJ member will be subject to the maximum fine specified in the Rule Book which at the 2013 rate is £1,000. It was also agreed that a note shall be placed upon his previous membership record to the effect that he is not considered by the union to be a fit and proper person in respect of his eligibility for membership. However, should David Leggat wish to make an application to re-join the NUJ at some future date, the matter should be put before the NEC for consideration.”

I am very satisfied with how this process has been managed by the lay members of my union and by the fulltime officers.

Moreover, I am happy that Mr Leggat is no longer in the National Union of Journalists and I now consider the matter closed.

29 thoughts on “David Leggat

  1. Paul S

    good result Phil

    but , when it comes to free speech regarding football , Scotland aligns itself with propaganda akin to 1930’s europe

    the only people allowed to comment on scottish football radio call-ins have to take the establishment point of view ,liquidation of RFC never happened , Scottish football is dying because sevco are in the lower leagues , the sfa are all great guys with unquestionable impartiality, clandestine 5 way agreements are okay within our administration provided both (the old and new )clubs are based in Govan, you know the rest .

  2. wolfman

    NUJ members and integrity. …..where is the solidarity for Hugh Keevins banned from Celtic Park for nothing inflammatory did the union turn round and all bhoycott Celtic Park? Keevins is the sacrificial lamb from the Daylate Record so as not to upset their commercial dept contract with Celtic F C and with sportsdesk editors like Alex Rennie and Kevin Masni in charge no requirement for action then…..gutless wonders.

  3. Donal

    Glad to hear about the good verdict, Phil. However, in all honesty, what person, in full command of their mental faculties, cares what David Leggat writes or thinks? He is yet another one of Scotland’s ‘succulent lamb’ pack, one of the main reason’s why Rangers were liquidated.

  4. Padraig K

    Good job, Phil. As we all know there are those in this world who cannot handle the concept of a turning tide. Sink or swim has always been the ethos of a people who’ve had to struggle to be heard. The arrogant and bigoted never learned to swim.

  5. jjbhoy

    has there been anything in the media in reference to this and if no,then why? call this a shot in the dark but i have the feeling that as we all know the anti-irish,anti-catholic sentiment that clearly exists in scotland then there is no need for the msm to tell the truth and expose this man for what he is and what he stands for as this would be the equivilant of themselves staring back at themselves in the mirror and as we all know,some folks dont like what they see.

  6. scotinoz

    Says it all really a union man are we Phil. Anti Irish come on Phil tounge in cheek you spend a great part of your life being anti unionist. Unions now adays mate keep the useless workers in a job sad but true.

  7. Jim Wood

    Take that you bounder, Biff!
    Look away Martha, Scud!
    Bravo Phil. Seems some impartial folks in the NUJ feel the same as us.
    Keep at them.

  8. Conorbrien

    Congratulations, Phil.
    I have come across this most of my life and I am now a pensioner. It still goes on, but thankfully not as much as it pervaded the 60’s. My wife, not an Irish Catholic, did not believe that there was signs in the 60’s which stated that “no Irish need apply”. The only good thing I would say that there are good non-Catholics who could not perceive that this existed. This led to me believe that it was only a minority who are steeped in their traditions and frightened by the change in tolerance and acceptance. It still carries on, but like the N.I issue it is diminishing. Well done!

  9. Dhougal

    BrillPhil …..well done the man !!!! ……..i accidentaly read some o his ”STUFF” …….once !!!! ……THAT WAS ENOUGH !!
    Of course you know this will result in a …………BOYCOT !!!!

  10. Kenny McCaffrey

    Good on you Phil (and the others), even if it just means that the culprit is shown to be the complete @rse that he is in front of a bigger audience.

    But I wonder if such a good story, esp with its relevance to the current self-regulation hoo-ha, will be picked up by the Scottish MSM?

    Or even if some enlightened editor commissions a feature article on how online reactions to the fall of an ex-football team has been taken by some as a green light (no pun intended) to indulge in racism, bigotry and assaults on decency and truth?

    Mmm – hard one…

  11. Big Mike

    Nice one Phil! Do not think there is much chance of the fine being paid though! Sort of par for the course for his sort!

  12. Ben McGinlay

    I also have been in trades unions ever since I started work. You would think that members of unions (in your case the NUJ)carrying out the same job would be like minded and would like to know the truth. But in Bonnie Scotland we have agendas. And herein lies the problem. It’s went into overdrive the last few year..Good on you Phil, stick by your principles and beliefs, the good guys eventually win and the truth comes out in the end..


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