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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a local Councillor. An opposition Councillor is attacking

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I am a local Councillor. An opposition Councillor is attacking me by suggesting I have had a series of failed businesses. In fact, I have never had a bankrupt business. Two of the businesses he mentions are still trading while the third was closed cleanly with books in the black and with no bad debts. Do I have any legal rights to insist he stops making these false claims, which are clearly damaging to my reputation both as a Councillor and in business?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
He shouldn't be defaming you. The laws of defamation are quite clear. The difficulty here is enforcing them.
Defamation is an expensive action that just isn't accessible to most people. Even now that the Defamation Act is in force and they are no longer heard by jurors it is still an expensive business. If your accuser has no money then they are not worth suing.
You could get a solicitor to write to him warning him of the laws of defamation. That is sometimes very effective.
If these are a serious of allegations then there is an argument that this amounts to harassment. In truth, the false accuser who makes allegations to the police or the local council is a better example of harassment but it could be applied. That is a much cheaper option.
I would try the letter before action first though.
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