Former Corbyn aide loses appeal over Rachel Riley Twitter row

A former aide to Jeremy Corbyn has lost an appeal against a High Court libel ruling which ordered her to pay £10,000 damages to television presenter Rachel Riley after a Twitter row.

Ms Riley, 36, who appears on the Channel 4 show Countdown, won a claim against Laura Murray, who is in her early 30s and used to work for the former Labour leader, in December last year.

Mr Justice Nicklin rejected Ms Murray’s defences of truth, honest opinion, and publication on matter of public interest and awarded damages to Ms Riley, saying she was entitled to “vindication”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Murray challenged that ruling at the Court of Appeal in July, but her appeal was dismissed by three senior judges in a ruling delivered on Thursday.

During the trial last year, Mr Justice Nicklin heard both women posted tweets after Mr Corbyn, who was then Labour leader, was hit with an egg while visiting a mosque in March 2019.

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

Later, Ms Murray tweeted: “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 said she was being sarcastic in her tweet, did not call Mr Corbyn a Nazi, and the tweet caused serious harm to her reputation.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.