Appeal in Riley v Murray

The appeal in the libel case of Riley v Murray begins tomorrow.

In a judgment in December 2021 Rachel Riley won damages of £10,000 for libel against Laura Murray. The claim concerned a tweet posted by Ms Murray in March 2019 in the aftermath of an attack on Jeremy Corbyn with an egg. At a preliminary trial of meaning, the tweet was held to convey the defamatory meaning that Ms Riley had publicly stated in a tweet that Jeremy Corbyn deserved to be violently attacked, and an allied expression of opinion as to Ms Riley being “dangerous” and “stupid”.

At trial, Mr Justice Nicklin found that Ms Murray’s defences of truth and honest opinion failed. The defence of public interest also failed as Ms Murray had not shown her honest belief that the publication of her tweet was in the public interest was reasonable.

Ms Murray received permission to appeal in relation to each of the substantive defences. The appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal on 21 July 2022.

5RB’s William Bennett QC and Godwin Busuttil act for Rachel Riley and Jacob Dean acts for Laura Murray.