WARE v FRENCH GOES TO TRIAL

THE CASE of Ware v French continues.

John Ware is suing Press Gang editor Paddy French over an article which criticised the 2019 Panorama programme “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?” 

The article appeared in the online Canadian magazine ColdType and was reprinted in the Press Gang pamphlet “Is The BBC Anti-Labour?” published in December 2019.

The libel trial is likely to take place next year. 

At a preliminary hearing on Thursday, February 18, Mr Justice Saini heard arguments from both sides about what an ordinary reader would have understood the article to mean. 

Representing Ware, William Bennett QC claimed the article branded his client 

… a rogue journalist who had engaged in dirty tricks by deliberately setting out to sabotage the Labour Party’s chances of winning the General Election by producing an edition of Panorama in which he dishonestly presented a biased and false portrayal of the case against the Labour Party for antisemitism.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, for French, argued the “natural and ordinary meaning” of the piece was that

… the Claimant [John Ware] produced a television programme which was one-sided and strongly advocated the position that the Labour Party was anti-semitic … as a result, the Claimant had engaged in rogue journalism

Mr Justice Saini’s version of the meaning was that John Ware

… is a rogue journalist who had engaged in dirty tricks by deliberately setting out to sabotage the Labour Party’s chances of winning the General Election by producing an edition of Panorama in which he dishonestly presented a biased and false portrayal of the case against the Labour Party for anti-Semitism.

The Judge also decided that the meaning was factual and not opinion.

The judgment can be read here.

Costs are yet to be determined.

In a statement, French stated:

I am disappointed by the decision.

However, I remain resolutely committed to defending this action.

My legal team believe I have a strong defence and the formal documents will be served within the next few months .

The overall cost of the full libel trial could rise as high as £1,000,000.

The Press Gang fighting fund, which has already raised nearly £25,000 from a thousand supporters, can be found here.

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One Response to “WARE v FRENCH GOES TO TRIAL”

  1. Graeme McLagan Says:

    please send email address

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