South West Wales

Carmarthenshire blogger Jacqui Thompson 'should keep home'

Jacqui Thompson
Image caption The row began in 2011 when Mrs Thompson was arrested for filming a council meeting on her mobile phone

Carmarthenshire council has been asked to settle a long-running case involving its chief executive and a blogger.

Jacqui Thompson faces a £190,000 legal bill after a failed libel action against chief executive Mark James.

The council has been granted a charging order which means Mrs Thompson could be forced to sell her home in Llanwrda if she cannot pay her debt.

Plaid Cymru Cllr Alun Lenny has submitted a notice of motion asking that no-one be made homeless.

He told BBC Wales he was "anxious that a settlement be reached without Mrs Thompson losing her home."

He called the case a "sideshow" which was taking energy away from "things that matter" like job creation and "keeping young people here."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The notice of motion is likely to be discussed at next week's full council meeting

The notice of motion said: "We fully accept that the previous council was obliged to defend its most senior officer.

"We also accept that it was the chief executive's prerogative to launch a personal counter-libel action.

"However, we are now concerned that the pursuit of damages and costs is having the perverse effect of causing damage to the reputation of this council and its chief executive."

Cllr Lenny believes a "conciliatory approach" would bring "this toxic issue" to a close.

Carmarthenshire council did not wish to comment, but confirmed it had received the notice of motion.

Mrs Thompson "cautiously welcomed" the notice of motion, but said there are "many unresolved issues" with its wording, including it not referring to an "unlawful counterclaim."

She also called for the discussion to be held in an open session of the council.

More on this story