Former Tory MP Tim Yeo has lost his libel action over a “cash-for-advocacy” claim which he said trashed his reputation.
Yeo had asked for substantial compensation over three reports in the Sunday Times, in June 2013, which followed a lunch the previous month with two undercover journalists from the Insight team posing as representatives for a solar energy concern in the Far East.
They alleged that he was prepared to, and had offered to, act in a way that was in breach of the Commons code of conduct by acting as a paid parliamentary advocate who would push for new laws to benefit the business of a client for a daily fee of £7,000 and approach ministers, civil servants and other MPs to promote a client’s private agenda in return for cash.
They also contained comment to the effect that he had shown willing to abuse his position to further his own financial and business interests.
Times Newspapers Ltd said that the articles were true, it was fair comment and also responsible journalism on matters of public interest.
Yeo was not at London’s high court on Wednesday when Mr Justice Warby dismissed his case.
He has agreed to pay Times Newspapers £411,000 on account of its legal fees within 28 days, with any further costs to be assessed on the indemnity basis.
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