Marc Wadsworth wins libel case against Jewish Chronicle

JVL Introduction

JVL defended long-standing anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth from the start as unjust accusations of antisemitism were levelled against him.

The Jewish Chronicle was among those who piled in when Ruth Smeeth’s absurd allegations were first made. Since then it hasn’t missed an opportunity to malign him.

This time – again! – the paper went too far, even for a legal system which is not renowned for being critical of newspaper bosses.

In a court verdict reported below, substantial damages were awarded against the JC  as it issued an apology which made it crystal clear that “the allegations in the article about Mr Wadsworth were wholly untrue”.

It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving newspaper!

This article was originally published by the Morning Star on Thu 22 Jul 2021. Read the original here.

Marc Wadsworth wins libel case against Jewish Chronicle

MARC WADSWORTH won a libel case against the Jewish Chronicle (JC) today, with the newspaper agreeing to pay “substantial compensation” and issue an apology.

The publication falsely accused Mr Wadsworth, in an article on its website in March, of being part of a group of current and ex-Labour members targeting Jewish activists in the party.

Responding to the verdict, he told the Star: “The Labour Party turned me into a media target by unjustly expelling me in 2018. My reinstatement campaign has received huge support since, including from Jewish people and many others.

“I am an ally of Jews, Palestinians and all other oppressed people and will defend my reputation as a lifelong anti-racist campaigner against any media that libels me, as I have done successfully in this instance. The witch hunt against the Labour left, accelerated by the current leadership, must be halted by any means necessary.”

Mr Wadsworth, who founded the Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991, was expelled from Labour in 2018 after he remarked that Ruth Smeeth MP was working “hand in hand” with the Daily Telegraph at a 2016 press conference launching the Chakrabarti report on anti-semitism.

The High Court heard today that the JC article focused on allegations that a group of Labour members — including people said to have been suspended or expelled — were part of a plan to track down Jewish Labour activists at their homes to “take care” of them.

Dominic Garner, representing Mr Wadsworth, said his client was a civil rights campaigner, lecturer and author who had been wrongly associated with the group in the article.

He said: “The article named Mr Wadsworth in this context, as well as featuring a prominent photograph of him in its print edition, stating that Mr Wadsworth had given a speech at a launch event for the group — and in turn, alleging that he was both a member of the group and either involved or complicit in its activities.

“As the defendant has accepted, the allegations in the article about Mr Wadsworth were wholly untrue.

“In fact, Mr Wadsworth is not and has never been a member of the group to which the article referred.

“He neither spoke at nor attended the event in question, and has not been involved whatsoever in the group’s activities.”

Adelaide Lopez, representing the newspaper, said: “Jewish Chronicle Media Limited withdraws these false allegations and apologises to Mr Wadsworth.”

In a statement, Mr Wadsworth said: “I was deeply distressed that The Jewish Chronicle did not check its facts or contact me before its article was written.

“Instead, it chose to publish serious and unfounded allegations, linking me with potential criminality, which go to the heart of my reputation as a journalist and long-standing campaigner against racism.

“I am pleased that the publisher has now apologised for these libels and agreed to set the record straight, and in turn that I am now able to draw a line under this matter.”

Comments (19)

  • Mary Davies says:

    So happy Marc has been vindicated and once again, the JC has been exposed as a right-wing, lying rag.

  • Amanda Sebestyen says:

    What is the group that he is supposed to have joined? does such a group exist?
    So glad about this result – congratulations to Marc! but the report gives the impression that there is indeed a group out there which targets individual zionists in their homes. I’m completely unaware of it, and if a named group was mentioned they may also have a feasible libel claim against the JC.

    JVL writes: After the LIEN Conference on 27th February, the JC published an article headed Corbyn supporters threaten to ‘take care of’ Jewish activists [the link to it no longer works].

    Of course it was untrue.

    LIEN sent the JC a rebuttal on 15th March and published it on the LIEN website here.

    It was in fact a malicious distortion of a half sentence taken out of context, from a suggestion put forward by one individual which was not even discussed at the Conference!

    As the rebuttal says, in point 4:

    4. The half sentence “take care of those individuals” has been misinterpreted in bad faith, as the whole sentence shows: “to use the knowledge so-gained for the purpose of warning other members to take care of those individuals” in the sense of “be wary and avoid”.

    The JC, of course, has never even acknowledged the letter from LIEN, let alone responded to its call for a variety of corrections to the JC’s distortions.

  • Andrew Hornung says:

    Delighted for Marc! But did the group referred to ever exist?

  • Neil Hunt says:

    Some bloody good news for a change, well MW.

  • Allan Howard says:

    Yes Mary, but given that the WHOLE of the MSM blanked the story – as they no doubt did the previous libel cases against the Chronicle – then the vast majority of the general public will be completely oblivious to the fact.

    Left-wing blogs such as The Canary and Voxpolitical and Skwawkbox etc covered it, but then just about everyone on the left already knows that the JC is now just a right-wing propaganda rag. But I can’t help but wonder what readers of the JC think about all the libel cases during the past several years – ie that the JC is repeatedly smearing people, and ALSO misleading and manipulating and deceiving and duping THEM.

  • Jimmy Cooper says:

    Solidarity with Marc Wadsworth. He is proof that the truth can never be silenced.

  • John Bowley says:

    Rotten lies from the political right wing are unceasing.

    The action of the Labour Party expelling Marc for no good reason was racist. It was of a hierarchy of ultra-sensitive zionists at the top.

  • Malcolm Ede says:

    Brilliant!! I am glad that Mr. Wadsworth has been vindicated and that he continues to fight racism in all its forms again.

  • Brian Burden says:

    Thank you JVL for the support you have given Marc Wadsworth.

  • Philip Ward says:

    It’s important to note that Labour in Exile Network denies there was any “potential criminality” mooted at their meeting. They have been libelled by the JC as well:

    https://www.labour-in-exile.org/press-releases/right-of-reply-counterstatement-jewish-chronicle/

  • Rodney Watts says:

    Absolutely delighted for Marc. The JC has certainly earned its recognition as part of the sewer press, and also deserves to end up bankrupt. The clear common guilt shared by the JC and the right wing racist section of the Labour Party that have weaponised anti-Semitism ought now to be publicly recognised. We could, of course, also include recognition of the BoD, ZF, UKLFI,JLM, CAA, etc and their contributions. We must continue to support legal action, even though there has been the recent disappointment.

  • George Hardy says:

    I am so pleased to hear about Marc’s victory. I once tried to attend a demonstration in support for Marc at Labour’s HQ for the underground tube to brake down and I couldn’t make it. I nearly resigned from the Party when he was expelled after the Smeeth smear.
    We are right behind Marc and JKVL. Well done.

  • bob cannell says:

    I believe the basis of MW’s expulsion from the LP was this fictional allegation and slur. Starmer is already in trouble over JCs limbo, between the rock of his backers’ outrage if he readmits JC and the hardplace of a looming and expensive legal case which the LP will probably lose.
    He now has the same double headed dragon threat with MW.
    First rule of politics, dont get backed into ‘can’t win’ situations. He really is an incompetent politician.

  • John Bowley says:

    I intend to join in with Marc’s anti racism campaign and at least donate to it. I read through the Black Lives Matter website and found it a visual struggle. The Anti-Racist Alliance website is clear, calm, broadly based and readily readable. Marc is a fine speaker also. What a crazy mixed up bunch run the Labour Party now. The establishment media bizarrely calls them moderates.

  • David Jones says:

    One wonders where the chronic Chronicle gets the money to keep on doing this kind of thing. Surely it doesn’t have enough subscribers to remain financially viable when it repeatedly offends in this way, seemingly without care.

  • Ian Kemp says:

    great Marc whats starmer and Smeeth said about this. Indeed Hodge. Has Smeeth apologised.
    I think more of these false allegation’s of A/S should be targeted head on . Corbyn should also challenge false allegation’s of A/S by Blair The Guardian [ Freedland ] observer [ Cohan ] Rawnesly ]

  • Doug says:

    To those considering resignation from the Labour party can you hang fire and we can all jump together on Labour Day, Tuesday 5th October 2021
    In the meantime we could tie them in knots at great expense by having our ‘I’m Spartacus ‘ moment
    What collective declaration can we make that would lead to our suspension
    and investigation
    What form it takes I know not, petition, conference submission or a letter to the Grauniad
    What say you

  • Allan Howard says:

    Ian, it had nothing whatsoever to do with the Ruth Smeeth episode, so I really can’t fathom why you would ask if Smeeth has apologised.

    And why would you ask what Starmer and Smeeth and Hodge have said about Marc winning his libel case – which they will of course all be aware of – when it’s blatantly obvious that none of them are going to say anything about it (on their twitter/facebook pages or wherever). As if!

  • Anthony Baldwin says:

    This is as clear an example of the weaponisation of AS as one could ever hope to find.
    Smeeth was reported to have fled in tears … anyone who saw the video of her leaving will know that to be untrue and as to her being upset afterwards then that too was rubbish.
    The triumphalist attitude of those such as Umuna when accompanying her to the Labour inquiry meeting was appalling and perhaps some the ‘posse’ plus Labour should also be prepared to apologise.
    As to whether anyone would want to rejoin Labour under the existing circumstances is another matter and all praise to those in JVL who have kept the flag flying for a rational approach to the increasing levels of persecution facilitated by Starmer and Evans support for Akehurst’s objectives.

Comments are now closed.