17 March 2015
PETER CRUDDAS v TIMES NEWSPAPERS LTD AND JOURNALISTS JONATHAN CALVERT & HEIDI BLAKE
PRESS STATEMENT ON COURT OF APPEAL JUDGMENT
- Court of Appeal upholds the trial judge’s verdict that their journalists were malicious in falsely accusing Peter Cruddas of being prepared to accept illegal donations for the Conservative Party from foreign donors but allows Sunday Times’ appeal in part.
- Peter Cruddas entitled to libel damages of £50,000 (including a sum of aggravated damages for the defendants’ “offensive” conduct of the case) from the Sunday Times.
Commenting on the Court of Appeal judgment, Peter Cruddas said:
“Naturally I am disappointed that the Court of Appeal has allowed part of the Sunday Times’ appeal, but it is some consolation that I remain the overall winner of my action. The Court has said that the newspaper failed “by a wide margin” to justify their suggestion that I was prepared to break UK electoral law by accepting foreign donations. What is more, they have confirmed that based on the Judge’s assessment of the oral evidence which he heard from the Sunday Times journalists, there is no basis for overturning his decision that they were malicious and knew that suggestion to be untrue.
“This is no victory for the Sunday Times when they still have to pay me damages, and their journalists remain condemned as malicious. It is a sad day for honest journalism when a trial Judge finds it very surprising that journalists should so consistently and seriously have misled their editor as to the basis on which they sought authorisation to use subterfuge against me. It is telling that the Sunday Times did not try to challenge that finding in the Court of Appeal.”
For further information please call:
Gus Sellitto, Byfield Consultancy 0207 092 3988 / 07581 085 577