The Sun paid £30k to a Labour MP over a ‘misleading’ story, and he’s using the cash brilliantly

Richard Burgon and The Sun logo
Emily Apple

As The Canary reported in February, the Sun was forced to pay £30,000 to Labour MP Richard Burgon in a libel case:

The legal dispute was over a story the Sun ran in April 2017. It asserted that an image posted by the band Dream Troll mirrored the Nazis’ SS logo. But Burgon insist[ed] the image was a “spoof” of a Black Sabbath album.

At the time, Burgon promised:

With that I’ll fund a paid justice internship for a young person from Leeds.

And Burgon has kept his word. Because as the Yorkshire Post highlighted, applications are now open for the first of the placements.

“False and misleading”

The Sun attempted to appeal. But in June, the appeal was dismissed.

According to the Yorkshire Post:

The court accepted submissions from Mr Burgon’s barrister Adam Speker that The Sun had “manufactured a knowingly false and misleading story” by “doctoring the image published by the band”.

Giving something back

Following the dismissal, Burgon told the Morning Star that:

There aren’t enough opportunities for so-called ‘ordinary’ people from communities like my own in Leeds to work in politics.

The trend of unpaid internships in Parliament rules out so many who have great ability and potential but who don’t have the personal or family wealth to sustain themselves without a wage coming in whilst they get their foot on the career ladder.

Burgon also said that he is “delighted” to be able to use the money to give something back to his community:

I’m glad that through beating the Sun I can also give something back to my community that has twice given me the honour of being elected to represent them down in Parliament.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons and Twitter

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us