Jeremy Corbyn lawsuit dropped after he said rival was 'very abusive'

Blogger drops libel lawsuit against Jeremy Corbyn: Pair settle case after ex-Labour leader accused rival of being ‘very abusive’ during meeting where Palestinian ambassador was speaking

  • The case had centred on comments made by Corbyn on the Andrew Marr Show 
  • In the 2018 interview, he said rival political activists had been ‘very abusive’ 
  • The former Labour leader, 73, was referring to an event in parliament in 2013
  • Legal action by political blogger Richard Millet over the comments was dropped 

A libel case against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by a political blogger has been dropped, according to lawyers from both sides.

Richard Millett launched the action against Mr Corbyn over remarks he made during an interview on The Andrew Marr Show in 2018 when he was leader of the opposition.

Mr Corbyn was due to give evidence in a two-week-long trial in October but on Monday, the parties released a joint statement announcing the case had been discontinued.

They said: ‘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. 

Jeremy Corbyn. 73, had been due to give evidence in a two-week-long trial in October

Richard Millett launched the libel action against former Labour leader Mr Corbyn

‘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.’

During the interview at the heart of the case, Mr Corbyn was asked if he was an antisemite and shown a recording of a speech he made in 2013 in which he referred to ‘Zionists’ who ‘don’t understand English irony’, judges previously heard.

In response, Mr Corbyn referred to two people having been ‘incredibly disruptive’ and ‘very abusive’ at a meeting in the House of Commons the same year, at which Manuel Hassassian – then Palestinian ambassador to the UK – was speaking.

Mr Millett argued that, although he was not named by Mr Corbyn, he was defamed because national media coverage before the broadcast made him identifiable to viewers as one of those referred to.

Mr Corbyn said he was defending himself against allegations of antisemitism when he made the comments and court documents indicated he intended to mount a ‘truth defence’.

In April, the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge brought by Mr Corbyn against a High Court judge’s findings over preliminary issues in the case, while the Supreme Court refused permission to appeal the following month.

A 2018 interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show was at the heart of the case

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