Jeremy Corbyn MP receives damages and apology for false and defamatory tweet by Conservative councillor
Councillor Paul Nickerson of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council has published an apology and agreed to pay substantial damages and legal costs to the former Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, for a tweet he published on 15 November 2021 following the terrorist attack in Liverpool. The tweet included a doctored image of Mr Corbyn laying a wreath at the burning taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital following the detonation of the explosive device on remembrance Sunday.
Cllr Nickerson, who has now been suspended from the Conservative Group on the East Riding of Yorkshire Council following the tweet, has today (23 November 2021) published a retraction and apology in which he states that “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.”
Mark Henderson was instructed by Martin Howe of Howe + Co Solicitors in Mr Corbyn’s successful libel claim in response to the defamatory tweet. Mr Corbyn is donating the substantial damages to charity.
Following the settlement, Cllr Nickerson has tweeted the following apology, asking twitter users to “please retweet”:
“On 15 November 2021 a defamatory tweet, for which I accept full responsibility, was published on my Twitter account. The tweet targeted Jeremy Corbyn and included a fake photograph of him laying a poppy wreath at the site of a burning taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital where a terror attack had taken place on Remembrance Sunday killing a suicide bomber and injuring others.
“The false photograph, captioned by the word “unsurprisingly”, gave the completely untrue impression that Jeremy Corbyn supports terrorist violence include 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.”
Commenting on the settlement, Jeremy Corbyn MP 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.”