July 31, 2008
George Galloway wins libel damages
Respect Party MP awarded £15,000 for radio station's anti-Semitic slur
George Galloway MP was today awarded £15,000 in libel damages by Mr Justice Eady in respect of a broadcast on a local and internet radio station which alleged that he held anti-Semitic views.
Jcom Radio, a Jewish community radio station available over the internet and at the relevant time also on FM in North West London, had broadcast a programme that twice featured a fictitious Middle Eastern correspondent named ‘Georgie Galloway’, whose only words were “Kill the Jews!”
Mr Galloway brought proceedings for libel. The Defendant admitted the claim in full and today’s hearing was convened to determine the appropriate sum Mr Galloway should be awarded by way of damages.
Whilst noting that the feature was clearly intended as a spoof, Mr Justice Eady held that it bore the seriously defamatory allegation that Mr Galloway held anti-Semitic views, an allegation that was totally without foundation. Considering the context of the broadcast and the relatively small scale of publication, and giving the Defendant significant credit for an apology made on its website, Mr Justice Eady awarded Mr Galloway £15,000 in damages.
5RB‘s Richard Munden (instructed by Dean and Dean) acted for Mr Galloway.