So now we come to yet another “victory” being briefed to the press, this time in an action brought by Richard Millett against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. This time, it is the Jewish Chronicle which has told, under the by-line of Lee Harpin, that “Pro-Israel activist Richard Millett wins first stage of High Court libel case against Jeremy Corbyn”.
How victorious was this? “A High Court judge has ruled that statements made by Jeremy Corbyn on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show in September 2018 could be held to be defamatory of the pro-Israel activist Richard Millett”. Ah, COULD. Do go on.
“In a judgement delivered on Friday Mr Justice Saini rejected the claim by lawyers representing the former Labour leader that he was not referring to Mr Millett when he appeared on the programme and was asked to defend earlier remarks made about ‘Zionists’ who, he believed, ‘do not understand English irony’”. So the Judge has decided that Jezza could be said to have referred to Millett in his interview.
Mark Lewis. Again
“They were very, very abusive to Manuel. Very abusive. And I was upset on his behalf from what he'd - he'd spoken obviously at the meeting but also the way he was treated by them at the end of it. And so I felt I should say something in his support. And I did”. So the matter hinges on Corbyn accusing Millett of “seriously abusive behaviour”.
And who has been speaking to the JC? “Mark Lewis, of Patron Law, who is representing Mr Millett”. If only he’d also included “on the morning of the hearing of the trial [Millett] sought permission to amend his Particulars of Claim to rely upon 5 additional articles [but] I refuse permission to amend to plead reliance on the new articles” for balance.
There has been no victory. Because there has been no trial. I’ll just leave that one there.