Rachel Riley wins £10k damages after suing former Jeremy Corbyn aide over tweet

Rachel Riley has been awarded £10,000 in damages after suing former Jeremy Corbyn aide Laura Murray, who wrongly accused her of calling the ex-Labour leader a "Nazi".

The Countdown star took legal action against Laura after she called her "dangerous" and "stupid" in a scathing social media Twitter post in 2019 following an attack on the former Labour leader.

On Monday, Mr Justice Nicklin dismissed Laura's defence of truth and honest opinion and said that 35 year old Rachel was "entitled to vindication."

Judge Nicklin concluded that Laura should have known her online attack would be read as "provocation", and the libel case against her "could easily" have been avoided with another carefully worded message.

The online dispute between Rachel and Laura erupted when an egg was thrown at Corbyn by a Brexit supporter during a visit to a mosque in North London in March 2019.

Rachel posted a screenshot of January 2019 tweet by Guardian columnist Owen Jones about an attack on British National Party leader Nick Griffin, that read: "I think sound life advice is, if you don't want eggs thrown at you, don't be a Nazi."

She added the comment "good advice" with a red rose and an egg emoji.

In response, Laura 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."

Rachel sued Laura for libel over her tweet as she argued that her message had been sarcastic and she did not call Corbyn a Nazi.

She also claimed that Laura's tweet had caused damage to her reputation with calls for her to be sacked from her television job.

Laura said in defence that Rachel's comment was an honestly held opinion and at the libel trial in May argued that she "100 per cent" believed Rachel likened Corbyn to the Nazi slur.

"Owen had tweeted about Nazis being attacked. She applied it to Jeremy Corbyn," she told the judge.

"I was just shocked and outraged by her tweet. My intention was to express my outrage."

Ms Murray added: "The purpose of my tweet was to say to my followers, 'Don't engage with her. Don't get embroiled'."

Next year, a further hearing on January 22 has been set for any remaining matters to be settled from the libel case.

Rachel said she is “relieved to finally have vindication” as she wrote in a statement on Twitter to her 691k followers: "I’m extremely pleased to have won my libel case vs Laura Murray, former head of complaints for the Labour Party.

"This has been a very draining process and I’m relieved to finally have vindication.

“Huge thanks to @MLewisLawyer, a superhero whose help has been unquantifiable.

“It never needed to come to this, but I’m grateful to have had an outlet to set the record straight.

“This is the culmination of several tough years for many Jewish people and allies. I hope this serves as a reminder you can’t defame people without consequence, even on Twitter.

“Thank you for all the support I’ve received over this and much more besides, it really does mean a lot.

“I now hope to draw a line under this difficult period, and focus my time and energy on my family, and on much nicer things.”

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