On 26 September 2022 Mr Justice Nicklin approved a consent order recording the settlement of the libel action brought by Richard Millett against Jeremy Corbyn MP arising out of statement made by Mr Corbyn during an interview on The Andrew Marr Show on 23 Sept 2018.
You can see the full interview below.
The claim has been discontinued with no order as to costs. The trial of the action had been due to begin on Monday 10 October 2022 before the same judge and was scheduled for 3 weeks.
Mark Henderson acted for Mr Corbyn, instructed by Martin Howe of Howe & Co, throughout the proceedings.
The parties released the following statement
“The libel claim brought by Richard Millett against the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP has been settled. Mr Corbyn has paid no damages, has made no apology and has given no undertakings concerning repetition of the words complained of. No costs have been paid by either party to the other as part of this settlement save in respect of an outstanding Order of the Court of Appeal from April 2021.
Neither party will be making any other comment about the case.”
At a hearing in 2020 Saini J ruled that although Mr Corbyn had not named Mr Millett, he would have been recognisable to some viewers as one of the persons Mr Corbyn said:
(1) had been very abusive to the Palestinian Ambassador at a meeting at the Houses of Parliament in 2013 because of what the Ambassador had said at the meeting;
(2) had been disruptive at a number of meetings, and
(3) on one occasion had been so disruptive at a meeting in the Houses of Parliament that police wanted to remove them, but that Mr Corbyn had asked them not to do so.
Saini J ruled that these were all defamatory statement of fact, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal in April 2021 (which made the order referred to in the statement set out above).
Mr Corbyn defended the action the bases:
(1) that what he had said about Mr Millett was true;
(2) that he reasonably believed it to have been in the public interest to say what he said about Mr Millett, and
(3) that he had been speaking honestly on an occasion of qualified privilege.
The trial was scheduled to last 15 days because Mr Corbyn intended to call 30 supporting witnesses as to Mr Millett’s conduct at more than 18 meetings.
The trial would also have been the first to consider the defence of Publication on a Matter of Public Interest under s.4 Defamation Act 2013 in the context of a broadcast interview.
That interesting legal issue will have to wait for another day.
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