Anna Turley libel trial: Former Labour MP wins £75,000 damages

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Anna TurleyImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Anna Turley was libelled in an internet blog in 2017

A former Labour MP who sued a union for libel has won her court battle and been awarded £75,000 damages.

Anna Turley - who lost her seat in Redcar in the general election - had sued Unite and blogger Stephen Walker.

She said a 2017 article on Mr Walker's Skwawkbox blog, which contained a press statement from Unite, gave the impression she was dishonest in her application to join the union.

Ms Turley also claimed Unite misused her private information.

The article said Ms Turley had wanted to vote against Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and undermine Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn without the union knowing she was an MP.

Unite bosses and Mr Walker fought the case and said Ms Turley was not fit to be an MP.

'Honesty and integrity'

They said the article from 2017 was true or justified in the public interest.

They added she had incorrectly applied to be a Unite member under a community membership category - which is for people not in paid employment.

Anthony Hudson QC, representing the union and Mr Walker, said Ms Turley would have known this but she told the court she thought she was entitled to join.

Ms Turley previously told the hearing: "My reputation for honesty and integrity are of the utmost importance to me."

Mr Justice Nicklin, who oversaw the High Court trial in London last month, ruled in her favour on Thursday.

A Unite spokeswoman said the union was "very disappointed" with the decision.

Lawyers said the union and Mr Walker wanted to appeal.

Ms Turley had wanted more than £100,000.

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