Arron Banks loses libel action against reporter Carole Cadwalladr a SLAPP fail

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Carole Cadwallr finally gets justice

The multimillionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks has lost his libel action against the Observer and Guardian journalist Carole Cadwalladr, which was criticised as an attack on free speech.

Banks, who funded the pro-Brexit Leave.EU campaign group, sued Cadwalladr personally over two instances in which she said the businessman was lying about his relationship with the Russian state – one in a Ted Talk and the other in a tweet.


Her lawyer Gavin Millar QC had argued the case was an attempt to silence the journalist’s reporting on “matters of the highest public interest”, namely campaign finance, foreign money and the use of social media messaging and personal data in the context of the EU referendum.

Campaigners for free speech and press freedom characterised the claim as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (Slapp) – an attempt to shut down public criticism.

 
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Well AB was defending his reputation, but always a risk as the public interest test was what won the case for CC.

Blup
 
Well AB was defending his reputation, but always a risk as the public interest test was what won the case for CC.

Blup
it was a blatant SLAPP case

very nasty going after an individual
 
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STATEMENT FROM ARRON BANKS

The Court found that the meaning of Carole’s allegation was that: “On more than one occasion Mr Banks told untruths about a secret relationship he had with the Russian government in relation to acceptance of foreign funding of electoral campaigns in breach of the law on such funding”.
This is untrue and Carole has accepted that was untrue. Prior to trial Carole apologised for suggesting that this allegation was true, but despite this she continues to publish it via the Ted Talk.
At trial, Carole conceded that that there was no evidence that “I had accepted any money from the Russian government or its proxies” or “that Russian money went into the Brexit campaign”, and that she had never thought I was a “Russian agent” or a “Russian actor”.
Carole said that she had only intended to suggest that there were grounds to investigate whether the source of my donations was foreign funding and on that basis the Judge found that, at first, Carole had a public interest defence. The Judge held that the public interest defence fell away in April 2020 following my vindication by the NCA and Electoral Commission, after which it was not reasonable for Carole to believe her statement was in the public interest.
Carole continued to publish the allegations and to seek publicity for them. Whilst I am disappointed my claim failed on a technicality after April 2020, I am pleased the Judge made clear my attempt to seek vindication was legitimate and that it was neither fair nor apt to describe this as a “SLAPP suit”. Quite right. This was never about seeking to silence criticism. Carole knows that had she apologised and agreed not to repeat this false accusation at the outset, these proceedings would never have been necessary.

Full judgment:

 
STATEMENT FROM ARRON BANKS



Full judgment:

'No evidence' lol. Except maybe eight million quid.

Good win for her.
 
As said before the Russians have secretly taken over the country

They are every where

Must admit I have my suspicions about a bloke and his missis who have recently moved in two doors down
 
"Mr Banks's financial affairs, and the source of his ability to make the biggest political donations in UK history, were opaque", the judge added..."

"Opaque", lol. Bring it on Aaron.
 
STATEMENT FROM ARRON BANKS



Full judgment:

A statement from one of the parties to a dispute should not be taken to be true, complete, or accurate.
 
She said: “On 22 Oct 2020, I tweeted that Arron had been found to have broken the law. I accept he has not. I regret making this false statement, which I have deleted. I undertake not to repeat it.

“I apologise to Arron for the upset and distress caused.”
 
She said: “On 22 Oct 2020, I tweeted that Arron had been found to have broken the law. I accept he has not. I regret making this false statement, which I have deleted. I undertake not to repeat it.

“I apologise to Arron for the upset and distress caused.”
Ancient history and the latest judgement corroborates. Remember smug Amber. Opaque, lol.
 
She said: “On 22 Oct 2020, I tweeted that Arron had been found to have broken the law. I accept he has not. I regret making this false statement, which I have deleted. I undertake not to repeat it.

“I apologise to Arron for the upset and distress caused.”
Insincerity at its best.
 
STATEMENT FROM ARRON BANKS



Full judgment:


Said similar on the news

Puts a slightly different take on it
 
Said similar on the news

Puts a slightly different take on it

Cadwallader was forced to drop her 'defence of truth' angle early in the case and was made to apologise to Banks for untrue claims about Russian money following various investigations.
In the end the case was about the technical definitions of 'defamation', whether or not Cadwallader was entitled to run an untrue story as it was in the public interest and whether or not Banks was caused distress by her doing so.
Journalists are pleased with the outcome.
 
So Banks wasn't being honest about his dealings with Russia after all. 'Opaque' at best. Interesting...
 
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