Rachel Riley loses latest round of libel battle with Corbyn-supporting blogger

Rachel Riley wearing a plastic face mask
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Television presenter Rachel Riley has lost the latest round of a libel battle with a political blogger and Jeremy Corbyn supporter over an article which alleged that she engaged in a “campaign of online abuse and harassment” against a teenager on Twitter.

“Serial abuser”?

Riley, 35, the numbers expert on the Channel 4 show Countdown, sued Mike Sivier after he published an article on his website Vox Political in January 2019 with the headline Serial abuser Rachel Riley to receive ‘extra protection’ – on grounds that she is receiving abuse.

Sivier defended what he had published, arguing that it was “substantially true”, honest opinion, and a matter of public interest. A High Court judge had ruled in favour of Riley and struck out Sivier’s defences. Justice Collins Rice concluded that he had “no prospect” of succeeding at a trial.

On 14 May, Sivier won an appeal.

Rachel Riley
Riley sued a political blogger over an article he published (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Public interest

Three Court of Appeal judges ruled that Sivier’s public interest defence should be assessed at a trial. Appeal judge lord justice Warby said in a written ruling:

Read on...

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I would allow the appeal. I would set aside the order striking out the defence of publication on matter of public interest.

He added:

In my view, the appropriate course is for the public interest defence to be assessed at a trial.

The two other appeal judges, lord justice Henderson and Victoria Sharp, said they agreed.

Legal battles

Riley is waiting to hear whether she has won a separate damages fight after suing a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn for libel. She sued Laura Murray, 32, over a tweet posted two years ago.

A High Court judge finished overseeing a three-day trial at the High Court in London earlier this week. Justice Nicklin is expected to publish a ruling in the near future.

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  • Show Comments
      1. Rachel Riley has undoubtedly won the accolade for stupidest person in Britain. She seemed to be unaware of how nonsensical it was to post a photo of Corbyn being arrested for demonstrating AGAINST racism while superimposing a placard saying that Corbyn was “a racist endevour” If, in her awful TV programme, she is supposed to be good at doing big sums, she certainly can not think!

    1. What IS it with countdown? Who can forget the truly awful outing of former ‘hot smart tottie’ Vorderman on QT, with opinions that came straight from the opinion pages of the Sun?

      She would barely notice the cost if she lost, but she will destroy the lives of those she’s prosecuting. Pretty, yes, intelligent, yes, moral and ethically ‘challenged’, most certainly.

      What an awful human being.

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