Rachel Riley awarded £10k in damages after suing former Corbyn aide for libel

Countdown star Rachel Riley has been awarded £10,000 in damages after suing Laura Murray, a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, for libel.

The TV presenter was awarded the damages by a High Court Judge over a tweet posted by Murray over two years ago.

The High Court case took place in London in May but Mr Justice Nicklin delivered a ruling on Monday, December 20, the Press Association has confirmed.

He heard that both women tweeted after Mr Corbyn, who was Labour leader at the time, was hit with an egg when he visited a mosque in March 2019.

Ms Riley had posted a screenshot of a tweet from January 2019 by Guardian columnist Owen Jones regarding an attack on former British National Party leader Nick Griffin which read: "I think sound life advice is, if you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi."

With the screenshot, the presenter wrote: "Good advice," adding emojis of a rose and an egg.

Ms Murray later tweeted: "Today Jeremy Corbyn went to his local mosque for Visit My Mosque Day, and was attacked by a Brexiteer.

"Rachel Riley tweets that Corbyn deserves to be violently attacked because he is a Nazi. This woman is as dangerous as she is stupid. Nobody should engage with her. Ever."

Ms Riley stated she was being sarcastic in the tweet, did not call Corbyn a Nazi and said to the judge that Ms Murray's tweet caused serious harm to her reputation.

Ms Murray, who has now gone into teaching, argued that what she tweeted was true and reflected her honestly held opinions.

However, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled that the tweet was defamatory.

He said that the tweet meant Ms Riley had "publicly stated" that Corbyn had been attacked when visiting a mosque and that he "deserved to be violently attacked".

Mr Justice Nicklin also added that the tweet had shown her to be a "dangerous and stupid person", who "risked inciting unlawful violence".

The judge concluded that Ms Riley had demonstrated that Ms Murray's tweet had caused serious harm to her reputation, and recognised there was an "element of provocation" in Ms Riley's initial tweet.

He found that both women were truthful in their evidence and had done their best to "assist the court".

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