By now, you’ll probably be aware that I was not granted permission to appeal against the judgment in Rachel Riley’s libel action against me and therefore lost the case.
It was a bitter disappointment, which I thought emphasised the harshness of UK libel judges against those of us who have to defend ourselves against allegations against us.
You’ll be aware that I am forbidden from commenting on the case by injunction – but I’m sure those of you who are familiar with the circumstances will have formed your own opinion about what happened, and therefore about the judgment.
Now I have to come to terms with that judgment. You’ll be aware that a High Court judge said I should pay £50,000 in damages to Ms Riley and £100,000 towards her court costs. I don’t have that kind of money.
And you might have been led to believe that Ms Riley is not seeking it, after comments by her legal representative Mark Lewis in the Jewish Chronicle. “Neither Rachel’s barrister nor Patron Law (Mr Lewis’ firm) will see a penny,” he said.
But as I understand it, he then went on to demand half of the CrowdJustice fund – which is impossible to supply because it has been spent on my defence and in any case may not be used for that purpose. Perhaps Mr Lewis would like to go on the record retracting that demand – or denying that he made it; either would suit me.
My own representatives have submitted proposals for a deal. The alternative for Ms Riley is to spend more of her money on proceedings to bankrupt me – plus the adverse publicity she’ll get from bankrupting a carer and defender of vulnerable people including those with long-term illnesses and disabilities.
I passed the relevant information to my representatives a week ago and have not heard a word from Ms Riley’s people since then.
Perhaps there has been a communications breakdown. If so, it is for the lawyers to sort out; I’ve done my bit.
Sadly, my own representatives have yet to be paid for their work on the ‘permission to appeal’ hearing. I’m aware that some of you may be unsympathetic to this after the court loss, but I also hear that there remains considerable support for me – so I’m keeping the CrowdJustice page for the time being and repeating my appeal. 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!
One good aspect of this is that I may have protected many other people who were threatened with libel proceedings by Ms Riley at the same time I was. The deadline for her to take action against them has passed so she cannot attack these people, who I believe were as sincere in their opinions as I was.
So, even in defeat, there are upsides to this affair.
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