Jezza had told Marr “Well, I was at a meeting in the House of Commons and the two people I referred to had been incredibly disruptive, indeed the police wanted to throw them out of the meeting. I didn't. I said they should remain in the meeting. They had been disruptive at a number of meetings. At the later meeting when Manuel spoke they were quiet, but they came up and were really, really strong on him afterwards and he was quite upset by it. I know Manuel Hassassian quite well. And I was speaking in his defence. Manuel of course is the Palestinian Ambassador of this country”
One of those two people was, it seems, Millett. Corbyn did not name him, but as Joshua Rozenberg observed, the Meanings Hearing Judge concluded “that the words complained of referred to Mr. Millett; that they bore a meaning defamatory of Mr. Millett … ; and … the allegations were factual”.
It also seems that Patron Law were not displeased by this outcome. “Mark Lewis, Partner at Patron Law, acted for Richard Millett in a successful preliminary hearing relating to his defamation claim against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the High Court. Following the ruling of Mr Justice Saini, the claim may now proceed to a full trial”. Then came the appeal.
But Jezza was unsuccessful here: the Morning Star had to tell its readers “JEREMY CORBYN has lost an appeal against a High Court judge’s findings in a libel claim brought against the former Labour leader by a political blogger … [his] appeal was dismissed by three senior judges at the Court of Appeal today, who ruled his comments were defamatory at common law”.
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog - which had no problem launching two viciously anti-Semitic attacks on Ed Miliband - sneered “Richard Millett, the Jewish activist who Jeremy Corbyn famously accused of not ‘understand[ing] English irony’ in a 2013 speech to the Palestinian Return Centre, has this morning won the preliminary round of his High Court libel case against the former Labour leader. The tone deaf words became actionable after being discussed by Corbyn in 2018 on the Andrew Marr Programme”. Yeah, he done it! Today they are silent.
Mark Lewis - another failure
Why so? “A political blogger who was suing former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for libel has dropped his case, according to lawyers from both sides … Mr Corbyn was due to give evidence in a two-week-long trial in October but, on Monday, the parties released a joint statement announcing that the case had been discontinued”. Also, a short statement has been released.
“The libel claim brought by Richard Millett against the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP has been settled. Mr Corbyn has paid no damages, has made no apology and has given no undertakings concerning repetition of the words complained of. No costs have been paid by either party to the other as part of this settlement, save in respect of an outstanding order of the Court of Appeal from April 2021”. Zelo Street regulars may have a sense of déjà vu here.
In July 2020, an action brought on behalf of minor thesp Tracy Ann Oberman and Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley by Mark Lewis was abandoned. On that occasion, their target was barrister Jane Heybroek, some of whose costs they had to pay. Zelo Street considered the matter HERE.
Moreover, there is now the appearance of Richard Millett in the second part of al-Jazeera’s The Labour Files. The footage showed him apparently being, er, disruptive, as well as acting in a manner that could be regarded as abusive and aggressive. This may not be relevant to the outcome, but it is quite the coincidence: The Labour Files airs on Sunday, the case collapses Monday.
To lose one lawsuit may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. And what if there is a third one out there? More to come.
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