Associated/MailOnline pay libel damages and apologise in ‘Trojan Horse’ plot defamation case

Associated Newspapers today became the latest newspaper group to pay damages and apologise in defamation proceedings brought by Nasim Ashraf and Hafizan Zaman against a number of newspaper groups for articles which falsely claimed the couple were involved in an Islamist ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to take over a primary school. Mark Henderson, instructed by Rahman Lowe Solicitors, acts for the Claimants.


A statement by Associated Newspapers published today on MailOnline states that:


"Our reports on 19 and 20 February last year suggested that Nasim Ashraf and Hafizan Zaman were involved in a suspected ‘Trojan Horse’ plot involving an Islamist campaign of intimidation to take over Clarksfield primary school in Oldham with the aim of imposing an aggressive and separatist Islamic agenda on the school. We accept that such allegations are unfounded. We apologise to Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them substantial damages and costs."


Mark Henderson and Zillur Rahman of Rahman Lowe also act for the couple in claims arising from similar articles which were published by most other national newspapers. Claims regarding The Sun, Daily Telegraph, and Mirror have already been concluded with damages, published retractions and apologies by News Group Newspapers, Mirror Group Newspapers, and Telegraph Media Group. Claims continue with respect to articles in The Express, The Times, and Sunday Times.


Speaking today, Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman said:


We are really pleased with this outcome. These allegations against us have now been recognised to be false by four different newspaper groups.  MailOnline is the most widely read news website in the UK and some of the online comments that were made on their articles concerning our family were truly horrific. We are therefore particularly pleased that they have now set the record straight.”  


Associated Newspapers’ retraction and apology is published on MailOnline here.


The statements published in The Sun, Mirror, and Telegraph can be found herehere, and here.