Rachel Riley awarded £50k after political blogger libelled her a ‘serial abuser’
Countdown host sued Mike Sivier after he published an article saying she bullied a teenager during an anti-Semitism debate
It’s not the £50k. It’s the legal costs:
Originally, Mr Sivier had his defence claims of truth and honest opinion thrown out by a judge in January 2021. He appealed the decision and won a Court of Appeal challenge four months later on the grounds of pursuing a public interest defence.
Ah, no, that’s a house’s worth of cash – even at today’s house prices.
Just to remind of something about English law. The loser pays everyone’s legal costs. The whole lot, tout. Massed and ferried ranks of lawyers on both sides to get up to the Court of Appeal and back down again.
The only potential way out of that is if he’d offered £50k plus one pound in damages at the start – if the damages award is less than the offered settlement then it’s the person who continued with the case that picks up the bill.
I think it would be safe to say that there wasn’t an offer of £50k plus one at that start.
There’s a value to a blogger limiting themselves to mere vulgar abuse.