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JEREMY CORBYN began a Court of Appeal battle today against a pro-Israel blogger’s claim to have been defamed by the former Labour leader.
Mr Corbyn, who now sits in Parliament as the independent MP for Islington North, is challenging preliminary High Court findings.
Political blogger and commentator Richard Millett has claimed that Mr Corbyn defamed him in a BBC television interview with broadcaster Andrew Marr in September 2018.
He says that the socialist MP accused him of being “disruptive and abusive” at a 2013 meeting convened by the Palestinian Return Centre that featured the Palestinian ambassador to Britain, Manuel Hassassian, as a guest speaker.
Mr Corbyn, who was not Labour leader at the time of the meeting, disputes Mr Millett’s claims and denies defamation.
Lawyers representing Mr Millett contended that the allegations were “factual,” while Mr Corbyn’s legal team argued that the “words conveyed a statement of opinion.”
Mr Justice Saini made preliminary decisions about the meaning of words Mr Corbyn used – and about whether he was stating facts or expressing opinion – in July following a High Court hearing.
The judge concluded that Mr Corbyn had been making “factual” allegations “as to Mr Millett’s behaviour” and concluded that the words “bore a meaning defamatory of Mr Millett.”
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