A Yorkshire councillor who tweeted a fake image of Jeremy Corbyn laying a wreath at the Liverpool bomb site has been ordered to pay ‘substantial damages’ after being summoned on charges of libel.
Councillor Paul Nickerson of East Riding, Yorkshirem tweeted a false defamatory statement on 15 November 2021, alongside a photoshopped image.East Riding Council,
The offensive tweet, which has since been deleted, included a fake photograph of Mr Corbyn laying a poppy wreath at the site of a burning taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital, where a terror attack had taken place on Remembrance Sunday killing a suicide bomber and injuring others.
He has now been ordered by a judge to pay ‘substantial damages and legal costs’ to the former Labour leader.
Mr Nickerson has also released a tweet and an apology to Mr Corbyn, acknowledging his responsibility for the “false defamatory statement”.
In the apology, he said: “the false photograph, captioned by the word “unsurprisingly”, gave the completely untrue impression that Jeremy Corbyn supports terrorist violence including suicide bombings, which without any hesitation I wholly accept he does not.
“Without reservation I fully withdraw any suggestion or inference that Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter of terrorist violence.
“The tweet was wrong and I retract it. I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Mr Corbyn for the hurt and distress that has been caused to him by the tweet. I entirely accept that the posting of the message the day after Remembrance Sunday aggravated the hurtful nature of the defamatory tweet.
“Accordingly, I have agreed to pay Mr Corbyn substantial damages, which he is donating to charity, and his legal costs.“
Mr Corbyn instructed his solicitor, Martin Howe of Howe + Co, to bring legal proceedings for libel.
Commenting on the swift settlement of his legal case, Jeremy Corbyn said: “The bomb attack on Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday was a horrific crime, which could have killed or maimed countless victims, including new mothers and their babies.
“Councillor Paul Nickerson’s photoshopped Twitter post about me failed to understand the seriousness of the threat and did a disservice to all those affected by the attack and their loved ones.
“So I welcome his decision to apologise for his defamatory post, to agree not to repeat the tweet which he has deleted and to pay substantial damages and legal costs.”
“This substantial settlement will be used to support charities that are close to my heart: including one in Liverpool and one in my constituency.”
Feature image – Garry Knight / Flickr