The ArgusCourt rules Lib Dem leaflet was defamatory (From The Argus)

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Court rules Lib Dem leaflet was defamatory

An election leaflet issued by the MP for Eastbourne was defamatory, a court has ruled.

The pamphlet, produced by Liberal Democrat Stephen Lloyd and used during his 2010 campaign, claimed sitting Conservative MP Nigel Waterson was “an expenses scandal MP”.

Nigel Waterson, who lost his seat to Mr Lloyd, said the ruling proved the winning Lib Dem campaign had “misled voters”.

He said his successor should “consider his position.”

Mr Waterson was cleared of any wrongdoing over his claims for a second home in outer London.

‘Scandal’

At yesterday afternoon’s hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the Lib Dem leaflet had stated that Mr Waterson had abused the system as a fact, rather than an opinion.

The pamphlet was therefore ruled to be defamatory.

The Lib Dem campaign had circulated mocked-up newspapers just weeks before voters went to the polls.

They were designed to look like real publications and written by a “chief political correspondent”.

After the hearing, Stephen Lloyd MP said: “This is a highly technical ruling on the word ‘scandal’ and how people understand it.

“I have made an application for leave to appeal, and will continue to assess my options in the coming days and months.

“The case is ongoing and in the meantime I remain completely focussed on representing, helping and fighting for the people of Eastbourne and Willingdon, the role I am extremely proud of and the job I was elected to do.”

Nigel Waterson said: “This has been a long and stressful episode for me and my family. I am delighted that the court has decided today that I was the victim of damaging and baseless accusations by Mr Lloyd and his agent. It was a clear-cut decision.

“I have not sought to challenge the result of the election. The world and the people of Eastbourne now know that the Liberal Democrats’ campaign misled voters.

“Mr Lloyd should now consider his own position. The relationship between an MP and his constituents is one based on trust.”

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Comments (5)

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10:10am Fri 9 Dec 11

ANNE MILES says...

The Liberal democrats are a big dissapointment, never to trusted again I am afraid.
The Liberal democrats are a big dissapointment, never to trusted again I am afraid. ANNE MILES
  • Score: 0

10:25am Fri 9 Dec 11

Pitviper says...

Still won't vote for you Mr Waterson, maybe if you lived in Eastbourne 100% of the time you may actually know what the good people of Eastbourne actually want!
Still won't vote for you Mr Waterson, maybe if you lived in Eastbourne 100% of the time you may actually know what the good people of Eastbourne actually want! Pitviper
  • Score: 0

10:53am Fri 9 Dec 11

Andy R says...

Nice to see harmony in the Coalition!
Nice to see harmony in the Coalition! Andy R
  • Score: 0

11:18am Fri 9 Dec 11

Number Six says...

Andy R wrote:
Nice to see harmony in the Coalition!
They've obviously been taking lessons from Blair and Brown
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: Nice to see harmony in the Coalition![/p][/quote]They've obviously been taking lessons from Blair and Brown Number Six
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Fri 9 Dec 11

Servalan says...

Well it's all a bit academic, really - the Liberals are totally finished. Public disgust at them has never been so high since Jeremy Thorpe paid someone to shoot this rentboy's dog. (Mind you, this being the Argus, readers here will probably be along soon to yap on about how it could've been an accident, the gun just happened to go off whilst Jeremy Thorpe was reaching into the glove compartment for a Murray Mint, etc etc - YAWN)
Well it's all a bit academic, really - the Liberals are totally finished. Public disgust at them has never been so high since Jeremy Thorpe paid someone to shoot this rentboy's dog. (Mind you, this being the Argus, readers here will probably be along soon to yap on about how it could've been an accident, the gun just happened to go off whilst Jeremy Thorpe was reaching into the glove compartment for a Murray Mint, etc etc - YAWN) Servalan
  • Score: 0

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