Doctor seeking legal advice after her name and picture used in SNP campaign leaflet without consent

Dr Paul Monaghan
Dr Paul Monaghan

A doctor is still waiting for a personal apology after her name and photo were used in an SNP campaign leaflet without her permission.

Alison Brooks, a GP in Thurso who is Caithness Maternity and Gynaecology Group chairwoman, was left seething after SNP candidate Paul Monaghan suggested she supported his party’s record.

Dr Brooks said the impact was worsened by the fact she is also a Deputy Lieutenant in Caithness, an appointment made by the Queen’s local representative and which requires political neutrality.

A photograph and description of Dr Brooks features prominently on the leaflet, which says: “The group’s formation is supported by the Scottish Government and is considered a major step forward in improving the care and safety of Caithness, Maternity and Neonatal Services.”

Mr Monaghan, standing in the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency, has since made a public apology and withdrawn the leaflet.

He said: “The content in the leaflet was intended to be entirely factual and highlight the work I’ve undertaken to promote health and social care.

“I’m very sorry if the leaflet has caused any distress or embarrassment.”

But Dr Brooks said his apology rang hollow as he had not contacted her personally.

She said: “He has never apologised to me and he never asked my permission in the first place.

“It’s a fairly wishy-washy response given I was very embarrassed by the whole thing.

“I don’t think he realises the extent of the offence he has caused.”

Dr Brooks said she had been careful to keep her views private because of her position and she is speaking to a solicitor.

She said: “I have very much kept my personal political views out of the public sphere.

“The leaflet obviously suggests an allegiance with the SNP party which I would not wish. It is a misrepresentation of me.

“The solicitor I have been speaking with is exploring the options because there could be a potential civil case.”