Should Mike sue Rachel Riley for libelling him last week?

I’m seriously considering what’s called a ‘Letter Before Action’ over this:

As I stated in my previous update, the numbers expert from Channel 4’s Countdown has got her numbers wrong. The offer was £1,000 to a children’s charity and £5,000 to cover her own legal costs (not court fees as she states here). Court fees were not mentioned in her solicitor’s letter of January 5 this year.

Secondly, that letter laid great stress on the point that the offer was confidential. As Riley has referred to the offer, I see no problem with quoting from the letter: “We wish to make it clear that this offer is made on a confidential basis. If your client chooses to  breach  that  confidence  then  the  offer  is  automatically  withdrawn.  That  should  not  be  construed as permission to breach confidence. We reserve the right to take action against any parties who choose to act in breach of confidence.”

The letter was also marked “without prejudice save as to costs” and so it would have been wrong for me to have referred to it in an open forum prior to judgment.

I don’t see why she should get away with this. Her tweet creates a false appearance that I was fundraising for my case dishonestly. I’ll try to fund the first shot in this matter myself and let you know how it goes.

The simple fact is that I believed I was right to defend myself in court against her.

I still do.

The judgment against me is a travesty. It seems clear that the judge has not correctly applied the Defamation Act 2013, which required her to have regard for all the circumstances of the case, rather than cherry-pick a few inconsequential details and ignore the rest.

If I were to be charitable, I might say it seems that she simply did not understand what happened in the events the trial discussed.

I have sent my thoughts on an appeal to my legal team and am awaiting their comments.

In the meantime, I must thank you all for your fantastic response to last week’s judgment and what I had to say about it. The CrowdJustice fund is nearly £2,000 richer because of it.

An appeal will cost much more than that, though.

We’ve been here before and know how much it will be. Not as much as the trial (thankfully), but still £20,000 or more. I’m awaiting a comment from my legals on the actual figures.

I reckon we can make it, though.

So, please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

The judgment was a terrible shock but I always said the case was likely to go to appeal, one way or another.

Let’s make sure that can happen.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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