So what was the problem this time? “That article referred to Maria Carroll’s participation in a private Facebook group. The purpose of that group was to provide information and guidance in relation to the Labour Party’s disciplinary process and not, as we suggested, specifically to assist members accused of anti-Semitism … We are also happy to clarify that the allegations of Holocaust denial against group members referred to in the Article only emerged publicly long after Ms Carroll’s limited interaction with them. We apologise to Ms Carroll for these errors”. The MoS had not, however, merely apologised.
What time is it Eccles?
As the Skwawkbox has pointed out - our free and fearless press was somehow reluctant to do the job - lawyers were involved. After noting “Mail’s libel was amplified by Labour right and damaged electoral campaign” - which makes the offence rather more serious - we are told “What the Mail’s apology does not mention is the ‘significant’ damages it has also agreed to pay to Ms Carroll in an out-of-court settlement for its libel”. Well, well.
And it gets worse: the MoS claim was then taken, repeated and embellished by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, specifically by replacement teaboy Tom Harwood, in a post titled “Long-Bailey Video Stars ‘Holocaust Deniers’ Advisor”, which goes on to make seriously defamatory claims of Ms Carroll.
Readers are told that she was “a former candidate who ran a secret Facebook group advising Holocaust-denying members how to beat charges of antisemitism”, and that “Carroll - who stood as Labour’s Camarthen East candidate in December - was revealed to be running the Facebook group”. Oh dear, O Great Guido!
The Fawkes post was later removed, but one has to emphasise the word later. Because a cached copy can be easily obtained. Moreover, Harwood may have some explaining to do, not just that he made those allegations, but also signed off with the sneering “Becky may have signed the Board of Deputies’ pledge, but she’s still attracting these people”.
Worse, the Fawkes Tweet advertising the post is still live, and carries the potentially defamatory “Long-Bailey Video Features Candidate who Advised ‘Holocaust Deniers’ how to Deny Antisemitism Charges”. Worse still is that Labour Against Anti-Semitism then took the Fawkes mob smear and made another apparently defamatory statement.
“Evidence presented by [Labour Against Anti-Semitism] regarding Maria Carroll’s role in running a secret Facebook group to help Holocaust-denying [Labour] members evade action should have led to her expulsion. Instead no action was taken - & now she is starring in [Rebecca Long Bailey]’s promo videos” they sneered dismissively.
Well, their “evidence”, such as it was, appears to have been less than convincing. Were I in Ms Carroll’s shoes, I’d be directing lawyers at LAAS and the Fawkes blog right now.
Given the MoS has already paid up, their defence will make for interesting reading.
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