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Friday 24 April 2020

Rachel Riley Judgment - Who Jumped The Gun?

Taking a break from her latest apparently favourite cause - Coronavirus pandemic misinformation (although she appears not to have yet gone after any of our free and fearless press over it) - Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley has taken a moment to celebrate a legal victory: she has won an action against Laura Murray.
Rachel Riley

This action began after Ms Murray took exception to Ms Riley’s response to a Tweet by Owen Jones. This followed an incident where then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was violently attacked by someone holding an egg, although the incident was not an egg-throwing one, but a deliberate assault. Ms Murray claimed that Ms Riley meant that Jezza deserved to be attacked, and therefore that she supported violence.
Mark Lewis

That, Mr Justice Nicklin decided, was defamatory of Ms Riley (full judgment HERE). There has been the customary extrapolation, with Labour Against Anti-Semitism Tweeting “Congrats to [Rachel Riley] & [Mark Lewis] for this initial legal victory over [Labour] Head of Complaints, [Laura Murray]. Ms Murray was reportedly hired by [Jennie Formby] to help repair the party’s broken relationship with the Jewish community. #LabourAntisemitism”.
Was anti-Semitism part of the claim? No. Ms Riley did not dispel the suggestion. “Today I had the 1st judgement of a handful of libel cases. The verdict supported my claim to have been defamed by Laura Murray. Ever grateful to [Mark Lewis] for not allowing Jews & allies against anti-Jewish racism to be libelled without consequence”.
And in case you didn’t get the nudge-and-wink there, “Note Laura Murray then worked directly for Corbyn. To my knowledge this was the only interaction I ever had with LOTO. Just days after this tweet, LM was made head of complaints into antisemitism for Labour - such has been the scale of gaslighting”. Did Ms Murray indulge in gaslighting?
Mail Online had the story beforehand ...

But what neither LAAS, nor Ms Riley, nor anyone else is mentioning is that, while the judgment in the case is clearly marked 24 April 2020, someone appears to have briefed the press more than a day beforehand. Mr Justice Nicklin was due to give his judgment at 1000 hours today, but the Mail’s website published it at 0621 hours YESTERDAY.
... and it came up in a Google search

Countdown host Rachel Riley has won the first round in her legal battle against one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest aides, who said she was 'as dangerous as she is stupid’. A High Court judge ruled that the comments posted online by Laura Murray, head of complaints for the Labour party, against the TV star showed a 'defamatory tendency’. Mr Justice Nicklin also said the description of Riley was defamatory within common law” they told.
The Great Guido also had it, also pulled it ...

The story was later pulled, but Zelo Street has the cache of the article, which one has to assume was still online later yesterday morning, as the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog also did a post on the case, telling readers “BREAKING … Rachel Riley Wins Defamation Ruling Against Laura Murray”.
... and it also came up in a Google search

The Fawkes version was also pulled soon after initial publication. But, once more, Zelo Street has the cache, and it must also be noted that a Google search performed yesterday shows both the Mail Online and Guido Fawkes posts at the top.

So who’s been prematurely briefing the press? Don’t all shout at once.
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Anonymous said...

This makes me more confused than Malcolm from the mailwatch forum.

Riley seems highly litigious. Her tweet was far worse than Laura's.

Oh well, we may be the bad guys here.

Stultus In Pluteo Proferuntur said...

Riley's tweet was about Corbyn.
Murray's tweet was about Riley.

The judgment wasn't about Riley's tweet.
Twitter is a VR shithouse.

Mike Sivier said...

Quick correction: Riley hasn't won her action against Laura Murray. This was just a preliminary hearing to establish the meaning of Ms Murray's words and whether they were assertions of fact or expressions of opinion.

The trial will happen later.

Anonymous said...

There's an awful lot of irony in Riley suing someone for opinions about her.

If I had the money I'd sue the fuck out of Riley just for being her evil, corrupt self.