Press Gang

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Press Gang is a website founded by investigative journalist Paddy French with the aim of "...exposing rogue journalism".[1]

Latest article

Press Gang's latest article is titled "WARE v FRENCH GOES TO TRIAL":

John Ware is suing Press Gang editor Paddy French over an article which criticised the 2019 Panorama programme “Is Labour Anti-Semitic?”

The article appeared in the online Canadian magazine ColdType and was reprinted in the Press Gang pamphlet “Is The BBC Anti-Labour?” published in December 2019.

The libel trial is likely to take place next year (2022).

At a preliminary hearing on Thursday, 18 February 2021, Mr Justice Saini heard arguments from both sides about what an ordinary reader would have understood the article to mean.

Representing Ware, William Bennett QC claimed the article branded his client

… a rogue journalist who had engaged in dirty tricks by deliberately setting out to sabotage the Labour Party’s chances of winning the General Election by producing an edition of Panorama in which he dishonestly presented a biased and false portrayal of the case against the Labour Party for antisemitism.

Hugh Tomlinson QC, for French, argued the “natural and ordinary meaning” of the piece was that

… the Claimant (John Ware) produced a television programme which was one-sided and strongly advocated the position that the Labour Party was anti-semitic … as a result, the Claimant had engaged in rogue journalism.

Mr Justice Saini’s version of the meaning was that John Ware

… is a rogue journalist who had engaged in dirty tricks by deliberately setting out to sabotage the Labour Party’s chances of winning the General Election by producing an edition of Panorama in which he dishonestly presented a biased and false portrayal of the case against the Labour Party for antisemitism.

The Judge also decided that the meaning was factual and not opinion.

The judgment can be read here.

Costs are yet to be determined.

In a statement, Paddy French stated:

"I am disappointed by the decision.

"However, I remain resolutely committed to defending this action.

"My legal team believe I have a strong defence and the formal documents will be served within the next few months."

The overall cost of the full libel trial could rise as high as £1,000,000.

The Press Gang fighting fund, which has already raised nearly £25,000 from a thousand supporters, can be found here.[2]

 

A document sourced from Press Gang

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Is The BBC Anti-Labour?ReportLabour Party
"Antisemitism"
BBC
John Ware
Mark Lewis
December 2019Paddy FrenchPaddy French's antidote to John Ware's Panorama programme "Is Labour Anti-Semitic?"
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