Tag Archives: Cadwalladr

Failure of Arron Banks libel case shows SLAPP lawsuits CAN be beaten

Justice for Carole Cadwalladr: but will there be justice for Mike Sivier?

This is excellent news:

The multimillionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks has lost his libel action against the Observer and Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr, which was criticised as an attack on free speech.

Here’s the reason it’s good:

Campaigners for free speech and press freedom characterised the claim as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (Slapp) – an attempt to shut down public criticism.

You can read more details by following the link below. For This Writer, it is significant because Rachel Riley’s libel suit against me has also been described as a SLAPP case.

Back in 2019, I wrote:

According to a recent letter in The Guardian, abuse of defamation law, including through SLAPP lawsuits, has become a serious threat to press freedom and advocacy rights in a number of countries, including the UK.

The legal claim against me, issued on July 9 by lawyers acting for Rachel Riley, is a clear example of a SLAPP lawsuit, in which a wealthy individual is apparently abusing the law in an attempt to silence a journalist and distract from the issues being discussed.

I wish I had known about the Guardian letter because I would have added my name to it.

It calls on the government to consider new legislation to prevent the abuse of defamation law to silence public interest reporting.

It also urges ministers to take a clear public stance condemning such practices and supporting investigative journalism and independent media.

This ties in with the fact that I – an independent journalist (and carer) of limited means – am being sued by a very wealthy celebrity because UK defamation law allows it.

Ms Riley won’t have to compensate me if her case is disproved (although she may face an order to pay a contribution toward my costs – which may come in handy if there is a shortfall between what I raise here and the cost of my defence).

In fact, it seems she won’t lose anything more than dignity if she loses the case because she has taken out insurance against that eventuality.

I stand to win nothing. My case is purely defensive. I simply don’t have the resources to mount a counter-claim (unless anyone knows better).

So, in the absence of laws to stop the wealthy abusing the justice system, I must rely on donations by members of the public – or I can’t mount a defence.

Ms Riley seems to find this offensive. Apparently she considers this CrowdJustice campaign to be an aggravating factor in her case.

Personally, I think her case against me should be used as an aggravating factor in the evidence for reform to ban SLAPP lawsuits like this.

My CrowdJustice campaign is still running, after more than three years, and still welcoming donations. If you want to help:

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 at the bottom of this article. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Above all, this shows that rich people, who try to abuse the UK’s flawed legal system for their own advantage, can be defeated.

I’m looking forward to doing that to another such person next month.

Source: Arron Banks loses libel action against reporter Carole Cadwalladr | Arron Banks | The Guardian

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Verdict due in Arron Banks libel case against Carole Cadwalladr

The only time I actually attended the High Court in London for a hearing in my own libel case against Rachel Riley, this case was also being heard.

That’s not the only reason I’m interested in this case, though. See for yourself:

The landmark verdict will potentially have huge ramifications for press freedom and investigative reporting.

Banks, who donated a record £8m to the pro-Brexit Leave.EU campaign group, is suing Cadwalladr for defamation over two instances – one in a Ted video talk and another in a tweet – in which she said the businessman was lying about his relationship with the Russian state.

Cadwalladr’s defence rests on the longstanding journalistic principle of public interest: specifically whether it was “reasonable” for her to believe that publishing such statements was acting in that interest.

After four days of hearings in January, Cadwalladr’s lawyer, Gavin Millar QC, argued in closing written submissions that the journalist’s reporting on Banks and the Russian state was of the greatest public interest imaginable.

Proponents of a free press cite public interest as fundamental to a functioning democracy, saying it routinely forms the basis for investigative journalism.

My defence against Rachel Riley is based on public interest too.

Cadwalladr, who has won numerous awards for her reporting on a variety of controversial topics, has been the target of sustained online trolling, abuse and harassment, much of it seemingly motivated by misogyny.

Again, I identify with that. I’ve had to put up with three years of sustained hate – although none of it (to my knowledge) based on my gender.

This case will have crucial significance for press freedom – and possibly for my own case as well. And if Mr Banks wins, malcontents will almost certainly see the verdict as support for harassment of defendants.

I look forward to its conclusion.

Source: Test for press freedom as verdict due in Arron Banks libel case against Carole Cadwalladr

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Is this really the ‘skeleton’ in Johnson’s closet that Williamson is being knighted to hide?

‘Keep your mouth shut and there’ll be a knighthood in it for you,’ Johnson could be saying here. But it seems Gavin Williamson couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Did he say anything worth knowing?

The announcement that Boris Johnson was giving double Cabinet failure Gavin Williamson a knighthood has prompted a wave of speculation about what the real reason for it might be.

This Site has already published an article about it. Nobody believes the award is for “services to the public and to politics”.

Now it seems that investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr may have uncovered at least one reason for it – and it refers to Johnson’s links with Russia.

She has published her evidence in a Twitter thread that you can find here. For brevity, I’ll refer to a summary from Yorkshire Bylines, which states:

Cadwalladr explains as follows:

Williamson was appointed secretary of state for defence on 2 November 2017, shortly after the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed it was investigating suspected Russian assets/agents operating in London, some of whom had met with Foreign Office officials, including Boris Johnson, then foreign secretary, and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud, who had been accused of being the link between Russia and the Trump campaign. Johnson subsequently denied meeting Mifsud, until a photograph emerged.

Cadwalladr had previously been writing about Russian connections to Brexit and the Conservative Party. On 4 November 2017, she reported that the Observer had been told by a British intelligence officer that “The entire city (of London) is a nest of spies … There’s more espionage activity here now than there was even at the height of the cold war”.

She maintains that she subsequently received information that a person “high up in government” rang Richard Tice, founder of the Vote Leave Campaign and director of the Brexit (now Reform) Party, with some information to pass onto his political journalist partner, Isabel Oakeshott.

Oakeshott’s statement was that “I am in no doubt that [Leave.EU campaigners] [Arron] Banks and [Andy] Wigmore have been acting as agents of influence for the Russian state… The material clearly shows that they discussed Brexit and personal enrichment opportunities with senior Russian officials. They met several times with men they knew to be members of Russian intelligence services and passed them sensitive documents. They claim to be patriots, but when the UK and Russia had a political dispute, they publicly and privately supported the Russian position.”

Ms Cadwalladr then tweeted that the “source believed that person who tipped off Tice about Banks’s Russian connections was…drum roll…Gavin Williamson, then sec of defence”.

She explains that there are still areas of this situation that are opaque to the British people, but what we do know is that the FBI’s investigation came to London, that key individuals and organisations were based here, and that one of these individuals was Johnson “knee deep in Russian connections and money”. And indeed, May seems to have responded directly to this information with her ‘we know what you are doing, Russia’ speech.

The article concludes:

Williamson appears to be in possession of information that the prime minister does not want to appear in the press at the time the western world sits aghast with horror at the actions of the Russian state. If he will not answer questions on this point, the question for the British people is clear: do we really want a government that works in this clearly corrupt manner? And if we don’t, what are we going to do about it?

This Writer has not seen the documents that apparently induced Ms Oakeshott to say that Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore were working for Russia.

And there is no readily-apparent connection between the claims about them and any Russian influence on Johnson.

But there is enough here to justify an investigation into whether these named people were connected with – or influenced by – Russian agents (or were agents of Russia themselves).

What does Williamson know? And does it in fact relate to Boris Johnson?

What about Banks and Wigmore? Are the allegations correct? If not, then why were lies released to a journalist, and what made her believe them? If so, then it is important for their involvement to be revealed, along with the names of anybody they know to be part of this apparent web of intrigue.

Did Russia hijack the UK’s referendum on membership of the EU in order to weaken this country and Europe?

And if Boris Johnson is one of those involved, it is vital that we know the facts.

Because – if true – then this is potentially treason.

Source: The Russia connection: defying gravity, reality … and treason?

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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