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Ask Jeremy Aldermartin Your Own Question
Jeremy Aldermartin
Jeremy Aldermartin, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8402
Experience:  Dual qualified Solicitor and Attorney
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As a Councillor a complaint was made against me by another

Customer Question

As a Councillor a complaint was made against me by another councillor which went to our Standards committee. Though held in secret he disclosed the proceedings. The Bury Times then wrote an article in which they stated I had the whip removed because of an anti semitic remark. This was not the case.
JA: Has the councilor talked to a lawyer about this? What country does the councilor live in? If different, what country does this legal question relate to?
JA: What steps has the councilor taken so far?
Customer: I would like the BT to remove the paragraph which describes me as anti-semitic
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 22 days ago.

Hi thank you for your message, please note that I will look to provide an accurate but nevertheless speedy reply to your inquiry. I am sorry to hear about your situation but I will endeavour to help you today.

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 22 days ago.

Ok so you believe this to be defamation? Have you asked them to remove it and if so what did they say?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
No only got told about the 26 th May article last Friday.
Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 22 days ago.

Ok well I recommend you ask them to take it down as it is defamation and issue a written retraction in a prominent location. If that fails you may wish to consider a defamation action. If you wanted to bring a defamation action, you would need to establish that a statement has been made about you which would lower people's opinion of you in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally. Broadly, the test is whether a statement would cause one to think less of you. The other side can defend a claim under the grounds of justification, privilege or fair comment. In relation to the defences, Justification is a complete defence to the action of defamation (as long as the defendant can prove that the statement is substantially true). The defendant does not need to show that there is public interest in the publication or whether they acted maliciously. Privilege, does not apply here because this applies to circumstances such as parliamentary proceedings or court hearings. Finally, fair comment, is a defence if the defendant can show that the statement is an expression of opinion on a matter of public interest (and not a statement of fact. A matter of public interest is viewed by the courts as matters which will affect people at large to the extent that they may be legitimately interested in what is going on (or indeed what might be happening to them).The comment does however have to be based on true facts which are stated in the publication or are referred to. The defendant must prove that the underlying facts are true. The defence will not stand if it can be shown that the comment was made maliciously. In terms of the chances of being successful, as an area of law defamation actions tend to be difficult to win because of the range of defences available and because courts are reluctant to impinge and curb freedom of expression especially where the comment that is subject to the action could be seen as in the public interest. In relation to costs, it is not possible to say how much this might be with any great specifics because it would depend on the lawyers you would hire, the area of the country and the complexity of the case but such actions tend to be expensive and cost many thousands of pounds. Furthermore, even if you are successful in your action you are not guaranteed to recover your costs. I trust this asssits

Expert:  Jeremy Aldermartin replied 22 days ago.

Let me know if you have queries