Labour MPs win initial defamation rulings against Ukip

Labour MPs win initial defamation rulings against Ukip politicians over Rotherham scandal remarks

Rotherham’s three Labour MPs have won a round in their defamation action against Ukip politician Jane Collins over remarks she made about them in relation to the town’s child abuse scandal.

Sir Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley, John Healey, who represents Wentworth and Dearne, and Sarah Champion, who succeeded Denis MacShane in the Rotherham constituency, are suing Jane Collins, the MEP for Rotherham who is Ukip’s candidate for Rotherham at next week’s General Election.

Spotted fror us by Brian Todd

And this anonymously provided link to the Yorkshire Post:

Ukip loses first stage of Rotherham defamation action

Rotherham’s three Labour candidates have won a round in their defamation action against a Ukip candidate over remarks she made about them in relation to the town’s child abuse scandal.

Sir Kevin Barron in Rother Valley, John Healey, seeking to represent Wentworth and Dearne, and Sarah Champion, who succeeded Denis MacShane in the Rotherham constituency, sued Jane Collins, the MEP for Rotherham who is Ukip’s candidate for Rotherham at next week’s General Election.

35 thoughts on “Labour MPs win initial defamation rulings against Ukip

  1. Well that’s the end of political debate then. If politician doesn’t like what’s been said about them, just sue.

    Perhaps Mr Lewis and Mr Smith may want to take action against Mr Barron for some of the things he and his Labour colleagues have said to them?


    • Why is it the end of ‘political debate’? Just because the kipper cant frame an argument without libelling her opponents? Or are you happy with selective libel as long as no one libels you?


    • Libel action is usually the preserve of the rich and famous but the accusation that was made against the 3 MPs was extremely offensive and serious i.e. that they aided and abetted child abusers”. I don’t think that is the kind of accusation that any of us would accept as part and parcel of political debate. If someone accused me of the same I would do everything in my power to clear my name and take the accuser to task. Let’s not forget that Jane Collins insulted a charity worker on Twitter by calling him a paedophile. She was lucky he didn’t sue her. I doubt even her fiercest supporters could justify that or pass it off as political debate.


  2. Of course it is the end of proper political debate, firstly they have effectively stifled UKIP members from asking awkward questions about how much they knew about CSE regardless of how clumsily the questions were framed. People will be less inclined to ask robust or probing questions lest they get taken to court.

    Secondly, its a fact that Barron has used the litigation as an excuse for not answering questions about CSE. Look through some of the posts on here on here, for example.

    The only thing that is absurd is Forensic X’s blind loyalty to a bunch of gravy train riding inept politicians.


      • What a ridiculous assertion. Politicians make accusations and allegations against other politicians and political parties every single day.


    • SPOT ON,ask me a question that I do not like and I will sue you,and who is paying for their defence,could it be the tax payers they are trying to get them to vote for them !


      • How on earth do you come to the conclusion that it is the taxpayer paying for this ? I am going to assume you are guessing, in cases like this it would normally be their party that is paying for it just like it is UKIP that is paying for Jane Collins defence. They obviously haven’t paid for Caven’s though as he has defended himself, or not as it sounds.


    • So you have no problem with libel then? Happy to be libelled yourself are you? Libel is not political argument no matter how blindly loyal you are to Ukip. Silly digs at me don’t alter the fact.


      • Well done for once again trying to divert from the issue being discussed and the Labour candidates shortcomings.

        Your comment about liable not being political argument makes no sense so I have no idea what you are trying to say but as for being blindly loyal to UKIP, that’s interesting AND WRONG.


      • If you don’t know the meaning of the word ‘libel’ – look it up. As it is, people have the right of legal redress when they are libelled – even Labour politicians.


    • Do you not agree that there is a stark difference between asking a question and making a statement about somebody and trying to pass it off as fact ? Have you read what the judge has said or are you just choosing to ignore it because you don’t like the outcome ?

      The thing is Jane Collins was warned that what she had said was potentially libellous and asked not to repeat it, she then chose to repeat it at conference and will now be answerable to the laws of the land. This has nothing at all to do with people not answering questions and everything to do with people spreading malicious untruths.


  3. When you have been a miners branch official as I was you get a very thick skin obviously Sir Nutkin and his two friends have thinner skins. I find it ridiculous that these three could not deal with this politically without having to use our money to take these two to court. Yes it is our money they have used, we pay their over inflated wages. All this will have achieved is that UKIP will milk the poor victim to the hilt and get more votes. It is a pathetic misuse of our legal system, when people who don’t have the funds that these three have can not get legal aid, they should be ashamed of themselves. I just find them pathetic, and they are definitely not fit for purpose.
    Dave Smith


    • I actually feel a bit sorry for Caven Vines. He represented himself and got clobbered £15,000 + as yet undetermined damages. I have no idea how much will be awarded in damages but their are 2 claimants who each potentially stand to lose much as a result of the libel. This could financially ruin Caven. The judge found that he didn’t put up a defence. I would have thought UKIP would have provided legal representation. They appear to treat their local representatives with contempt – Martyn Parker and now Caven Vines,


      • Don’t feel too sorry for him Robin, Caven gave me 24 hours to withdraw a “question” I asked on him on this site. He didn’t mention what action he was going to take, but he clearly doesn’t know his legal arse from his illegal elbow.


  4. No matter what the Judge decides, do the three MPs truly believe that anyone in Rotherham is going to believe that they knew nothing about what was going on, even worse did nothing to stop it. They might be cheering at their victory in the courts, but the court of public opinion is another matter.


    • Well where is the flood of people coming forward telling us different with facts ? It is alright people like yourself, Caven and Jane telling us that they MUST have known. Kevin Barron said in an interview that he had one case from a constituent, he took it to the police and they refused to prosecute. Surely if others had gone and were ignored or not listened to they would be coming forward ? The fact is you ask questions but don’t like the answers as it doesn’t fit your agenda so you just make the rest up ! I look forward to Jane producing the evidence of them knowing in her defence.


      • “Kevin Barron said in an interview that he had one case from a constituent, he took it to the police and they refused to prosecute.”

        So what did he do after that?


    • Of course their not and we can all have our say next Thursday, that is the beauty of democracy. I look forward to coming back on here next week.


  5. I think the three Labour amigos might find that it is a pyrrhic victory for them because in the Rother Valley area Sir Nutkin is not exactly the most well liked politician. This could well cost him votes, and I would imagine it could work the same for the other two.
    Dave Smith


  6. So you keep saying Dave but he has been the most popular candidate for the last 32 years hasn’t he ?. Maybe he keeps getting back in because he does a good job and he is appreciated by the majority ? Maybe you and your small group of friends are in a very small minority with your disliking of him ? We will find out on Thursday.


    • “Maybe he keeps getting back in because he does a good job…….”
      Can you define ‘does a good job’? A ‘good job’ compared to ………………….?
      Sir Nutkins majority was slashed to 5,866 in 2010-with 55% of the votes-from 23,485 in 1997 when he had 68% of the votes.
      I’m still waiting for him to acknowledge and reply to an email I sent him in 2013 and FYI, I dislike him as well.


      • Yes, a good job compared to…… a bad job. I know plenty of people that Kevin has helped and appreciate him for it. I also know people who have gone to Kevin for help with something that he simply can’t help with, that shouldn’t be confused with not wanting to help or refusing to help. Unfortunately some people take it that way and take it personal and then get all bitter and twisted. “and fyi, I dislike him as well” aww bless. I thought you and Dave called him nutkins because you just had a really good sense of humour.


  7. “It has been no part of my task to determine whether the meanings that I have found the words to bear are, or may be, defensible.”

    Quoth the judge

    So anyway there’s been an epidemic of grooming, gang rape, sexual torture, trafficking, pimping for many years through the North and Midlands committed predominantly by Muslim, mainly Pakistani groups and gangs; and for the most part in Labour controlled areas – Labour depends upon votes from these communities.

    And yet out of all the Labour councillors and MPs “representing” the grooming territories only 1 – Ann Cryer has spoken out unequivocally, Macshameless and Barry Sheerman have each done a bit of a hesitant mea culpa. That’s about it

    all these fine and upstanding Labour personages down the years apparently knew absolutely zilch about this vile, cruel obscenity committed against the very kind of people the Labour Party was founded to support.

    How credible is that?

    It was once famously said that the Tories were lower than vermin.

    One can only wonder where this leaves the Labour Party


  8. To ask questions and give an opinion is one thing. To put forward policy and proposals is essential – and to disagree if you see fit.But this wan’t about proposals, policy or persnonal / political accountability- it was gutter sniping and has nothing to do with free speech. To accuse you need proof. Ms Collins and Mr Vines went too far. Maybe this will help make debate more focused and civilized in all quarters. I wish.

    This won’t stop me asking questions – I hope it doesn’t stop others – indeed the verdict doesn’t prevent this at all. However, unlike Ms Collins I stay on the issue. I have a perspective, opinion and aims and objectives but I don’t retort to insult or rumour.

    As for Caven, like Robyn and some on here, I feel sorry for him in a way. He appears to have been got carried away and joined in with Ms Collins approach and then left isolated by UKIP and let to drift alone again. Although I thought he was wrong – whether he was right or wrong UKIP should have supported him and paid his fees and costs. He behaved no different to Ms Collins. (Although both in my opinion received the right judgement) The lesson is if you make a statement without backup be prepared for the rebound. That isn’t undemocratic its actually democracy in action and its fair.

    By all means individuals and parties of all hues should be questioned and held to account; their actions should be closely scrutinized and questioned 24 – 7. However, Ms Collins did not question she stated soundbites as fact and has been held to account for that. Personally I saw it as an accident waiting to happen.
    SKT xxxx


  9. “Can’t take a joke, Nigel? Farage reports the BBC to the police after being mocked on Have I Got News For You”
    A spokesman said: ‘Kent Police received a complaint regarding comments made on a television broadcast last week.
    ‘It was suggested that the comments breached the Representation of the People Act. The matter has been reviewed by officer but there’s no evidence of any offences and there will be no further action.

    The Representation of the People Act states: ‘A person who… before or during an election… for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election… makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct shall be guilty of an illegal practice, unless he can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing, and did believe, that statement to be true.’
    A person who is prosecuted for the offence can face a fine of up to £5,000.

    A BBC spokesman said: ‘Britain has a proud tradition of satire, and everyone knows that the contributors on Have I Got News for You regularly make jokes at the expense of politicians of all parties.’


  10. Ukip asks Scotland Yard to investigate BBC’s Have I Got News For You
    The UK Independence Party has asked Scotland Yard to investigate the BBC, claiming that comments made about Nigel Farage during an episode of Have I Got News For You might hinder his chances of electoral success.

    Kent Police said it had decided not to open an investigation. A spokesman said: “The matter has been reviewed by officers but there’s no evidence of any offences and there will be no further action.”
    But Ukip said it had now complained to the Metropolitan Police, because the programme was made in London.


  11. It’s a tricky situation because the worse an accusation is the more likely the political class will use the courts to suppress it – for both understandable reasons if innocent and practical reasons if guilty – but like all the Westminster paedophile rings over the last 50 years it’s the worst crimes that need the most questions.


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