Associated Newspapers has today apologised to Lord Sheikh in a Statement in Open Court read before Mr Justice Warby. Lord Sheikh brought libel proceedings against the publisher in respect of a 15 August 2018 MailOnline article.
The article was published under the by-line of its Associate Global Editor, Jake Wallis Simons, with the headline “EXCLUSIVE: Top Tory peer’s appearance at Corbyn’s ‘hate conference’ in Tunisia comes after YEARS of rubbing shoulders with Islamists, hate preachers and Holocaust deniers.” The article focussed on Lord Sheikh’s attendance at a conference in Tunisia in 2014, where it had earlier been widely reported in the media that Jeremy Corbyn MP had participated in a wreath-laying ceremony. The article accused Lord Sheikh of “rubbing shoulders with Islamists, hate preachers and Holocaust deniers for years” .
The Court was told that in his speech Lord Sheikh had advocated, consistent with UK government policy, that to achieve a lasting peace, a two-state solution should provide security for the state of Israel and respect for the rights of the Palestinian people. He played no part in the wreath-laying ceremony and was not even aware of it until 2018.
Associated Newspapers have accepted today that the very serious allegations it had published were untrue and that it had agreed to apologise and to pay a substantial sum of damages to Lord Sheikh and his legal costs. The Court was told that Associated Newspapers accepted that “there was and is no truth in the allegations advanced in the Article” and that it was “happy to set the record straight and apologise” to Lord Sheikh.
Sara Mansoori acted for Lord Sheikh in this case, instructed by Hamlins LLP.
See here for the Statement in Open Court