JVL is defending a libel action

Legal advice about our posts and comments

Jewish Voice for Labour and two of its officers are being sued for libel by John Ware for comments made in relation to the Panorama programme Is Labour Antisemitic?

We are defending the action but have been advised by our lawyers not to make further comment about the issues in contention.

This includes not reposting articles or reporting on developments that might have a bearing on the case.

Many people are asking us about crowdfunding and expressing their willingness, or even eagerness, to contribute. We greatly appreciate these offers, just as we welcome the offers of political support from those too hard pressed by austerity and Covid to make a financial contribution.

We are talking to our lawyers at the moment about the best way to raise funds for legal costs and expect to launch an appeal in due course.

Meanwhile any donations via our website will of course be welcome.

Comments (106)

  • Paul says:

    I understand that many people would want to support you in raising the funds to fight this action. I look forward to seeing a link to a crowdfunder for that purpose.

  • Paul Smith says:

    Support fund?

  • Doug says:

    Contact folk behind JC fighting fund
    If I was a betting man and I am, I would have a large wager on you winning this case, dont be shy asking every possible witness and supporter for assistance, this has been a long time coming
    P,ease dont take this the wrong way either but for a lot of members and supporters of the Labour party we want our day in court

  • Wendy Patterson says:

    Solidarity with JVL – ready to support financially and all other ways

  • David Nissen says:

    We are living in a very repressive society with a lack of free speech and persecution of anyone speaking up for truth.

  • Jo Dominich says:

    JVL thank you for having the courage to fight this action. John Ware is out of control since Starmer made the political decision to pay him off. We all know the AS allegations within the Labour Party had no foundation in either fact or evidence. He has said he is going to sue Jeremy Corbyn but hasn’t issued any action yet. He is also suing Press Gang. The man is suffering from worse megalomania than Trump.

    In order to support JC and your defence we need to start getting together as a matter or urgency to build a grassroots for massive campaign and hopefully, the development of a proper alternative to the Labour Party that has core social democratic values as set out in the brilliant Labour Party Manifesto. Although I am on the minimum wage, I would willingly donate what I can to help your defence fund. I have donated to JC’s and will continue to do so.

    Fight the good fight and thank you for your courage.

  • Julia Bard says:

    Solidarity! Very sorry to hear about this. Let us know what we can do to support you, JVL and justice.

  • Terence McGinity says:

    Jewish Voice for Labour is ours and that means we shall all be in court. Come on the Trade Union and Labour Movement. Well time to show solidarity.

  • Thomas Barr says:

    Defend the case vigorously and expose the lies. Happy to contribute to fighting fund.

  • dave says:

    This is thanks to Starmer caving in to the ‘whistleblowers’ and John Ware. He did say he was going to do this so it’s come as no surprise. While there will be a number of such actions no doubt, they won’t be the only ones in play and it’s important also to support people such as Mike Sivier, Jane Heybroek and Daniel Bennett – the first two have crowd funders.

  • As someone who spoke at the founding meeting of Jewish Voice for Labour, I know how enthusiastically its formation was received by those who value free speech and a plurality of political opinions in Jewish life in general and in Jewish life in the Labour Party. The slogan “Always with the oppressed, never with the oppressors” is as true today as when the Bundist, Marek Edelman, first coined it. Solidarity – and I hope justice prevails.

  • Esther Giles says:

    Solidarity, comrades. You will be supported by the Many

  • Lesley Boulton says:

    Solidarity JVL! Happy to support once you get the crowd founder set up..

  • Nick Levine says:


  • Ellie Palmer says:

    ‘Access to Justice’ is the fundamental overarching principle of the unwritten constitution of the U.K.. Time for Starmer, Weir et al to be reminded.

  • si says:

    I thoroughly support JVL and suggest you immediately counterclaim to nail Ware into a court appearance with no chance of wriggling out or settling. We want to see him and his ‘evidence’ getting seriously roasted.
    JC should do the same too. Don’t let this charlatan off the hook.

  • Amanda Sebestyen says:

    I hope that the outstanding and distinguished Jewish lawyers who have already criticised the IHRA definition, and the curtailment of free speech about Israel, will be giving their advice pro bono. JVL needs most of its funds for its continuing work and not for paying legal fees. Although any sum raised – like the recent huge outpouring for Jeremy Corbyn – will also show the strength of feeling in support of JVL.

  • Peter Langley says:

    We’re in this together. Standing by with wallet.

  • Rene Gimpel says:

    JVL is rich in members who are intellectually impassioned for justice. As if in echo of its shining leitmotif, JVL now finds itself among the oppressed.

    Call on all of us to back you, to contribute ideas and to support you to the hilt. It’s not your fight, it’s our fight. We stand in solidarity. It’s an electrifying moment: let’s turn the tables on our oppressor.

  • Simon Read says:

    Hundreds of thousands of people like myself joined the Labour Party under Corbyn. Every time the right wingers tried to wrest back control In an open contest they were heavily defeated. We know what they did next. Now Starmer, rather than defend an action in court, has chosen to pay them off with our money and they are using it to try to silence us. Well they won’t succeed. Please crowdfund your defence against the libel action. You will be amazed how many people will donate to support you.

  • Dr ALAN MADDISON says:

    You have done tremendous work to be a true voice protecting socialist values under attack, and this second wave is not of Covid19 but a purge of supporters of Palestinian rights.

    Is this why Starmer ignored legal advice…..not to blunt his weapon against the left.

    Justice and truth are on your side and I shall be pleased to help you in any way I can.

  • Allan Howard says:

    dave (at 19.13): Keir Starmer did NOT ‘cave in’ to anyone, and was fully on board with taking such a course of action. I mean he (and Blair and Co) were hardly going to defend the case – a case they had been advised the LP would win – when doing so would very likely end up with John Ware and the seven former staffers losing the libel and, as such, vindicating Jeremy and the former leadership AND reflecting very badly on the former staffers and John Ware AND the Panorama program AND the BBC defending it.

    Never in a billion years were they ever going to let THAT happen!

  • Terry Barry says:

    I’m in with support- let me know if and how to pledge some money

  • Martin Read says:

    Thumbs up, JVL! Thanks for continuing to champion free speech. Am ready to support once things are in place.

  • Teresa Steele says:

    Keep fighting for justice, thank you for all you do JVL. Solidarity. Will be donating soon.

  • Kath Morgan says:

    There will be many, myself included, happy to contribute to this fund raiser. There should be no limit to how vigorously we must defend these lawsuits and prove our truth in court.

  • Steve McKenzie says:

    At last. A left group as well as the Labour Left Alliance, who are prepared to stand up and have a go back on this issue.

  • John Bowley says:

    Good luck, JVL. May exposure of the truth and righteousness be with you.

    And our support with funding for expensive days ahead in the high courts.

    For our free speech will otherwise be improperly stifled for ever more.

  • David Hawkins says:

    I am very concerned that legal action is being used to bully opponents of Israel. I’m sure your supporters will rally around but we do not have the resources of a state. Legal action should not be used to intimidate people or to silence legitimate debate. On the other hand there is merit in the issues around the Panorama programme being aired in public. Are we allowed to know who is funding John Ware ?

  • Roland Laycock says:

    The Labour Party as classed me as an Anti-Semitic for not liking what Isreal is doing to the Palestinians, I am an Athiest and thing people are good, Jews, Catholics or whatever, but when they are being nasty and evil then I think I should stand up and say so, I don’t care what label they put on me and what they say about me, If I can help you in any way I will, I’m a pensioner with very little money but please let me know when a where I can donate

  • Miriam Yagud says:

    I was at the founding meeting of JVL and since it launched I have I seen and heard the enthusiasm and relief among Labour members that a group of Jewish Socialist members are bringing diverse politics and perspectives to the party.
    JVL speaks from sections of British Jewry that others seek to silence.
    Solidarity and I will do what I can to support you in this.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    I will gladly contribute to any fighting fund. JVL must not be silenced. If Ware gets away with this, Novara will be next.

  • Allan Howard says:

    And how about THIS for a coincidence!

    The day after the Panorama program finished its run on Iplayer on July 14th – albeit six months less than they originally said it would be available for – the Guardian (as I discovered by chance a few days ago) published the following article. Yes, the very next day, on the 15th!

    ‘Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers’


    NB What’s even weirder is that it was due to finish its run on Iplayer on the 10th of July, exactly one year to the day after it was first aired, and then a day or two before this, they suddenly extended it for another four days, and it was available to watch up until 4.00am on the Tuesday morning – ie the 14th. Needless to say, it WASN’T a coincidence, and it had ALL been planned and decided on months beforehand (that they were going to apologise and make a settlement), and no doubt the program taken down when it was in case the news of the LP apologising (and then some days later that they were making a settlement) sparking interest in the program again, and quite possibly more than a few people thinking to watch the program again and, in so doing (HAD it been available on Iplayer), seeing and realising just how WWOTT and outrageous and ludicrous just about all the claims were that the ten (supposedly) ordinary Jewish Labour Party members made AND, how it could possibly be that any investigative journalist worthy of the name and making such a program, wouldn’t have interviewed the chairs (or an official) of the CLPs that had such serious allegations made in relation to them AND included them in the program.

    And doing so precisely because they were watching it ‘unemotionalised’ and, as such, with their critical thinking-cap on!

  • Solidarity with you. Don’t back down. When you set up a fighting fund and have some idea of what your projected costs are I will ask the charity I’m a trustee off for a donation.

    Good luck

  • Marianna Volpi says:

    In some ways I think this is a good thing – of course strife is never good but at least now Ware has decided to put up, so we have an opportunity to shut him up. I also think a non Jewish person suing an explicitly Jewish organisation is a tactical error on their part – because it reveals the absurdity of their position and arguments.

  • Ieuan Einion says:

    I had two old Polish comrades both now sadly passed away. Roman was taken into Auschwitz at the age of 18, suspected of running messages for the resistance and his later to be wife, Janka, who was I believe in Bobrek. What kept them alive was their communist ideology and their belief that the Red Army would prevail and liberate them. For people of that generation, who kept their ears pinned to the ground to gauge the approach of the soviet/working class artillery, this was no game. After the war they helped build socialism in Poland but were disillusioned by the compromises made by the PUWP. They moved first to Australia, then to Italy and finally ended their lives in a small village in Devon. They went every day to the war memorial by the river to feed the ducks and give thanks to comrade Stalin and the CPUSSR for their lives. They even unsuccessfully petitioned the Devon authorities to place a memorial to JVS at the same spot. I worked on a professional level for many years with Roman. One day when I was speaking to Janka, she said to me: “tovarich, your country has a big problem; it needs more shootings.” This was in the Blair era but I’m certain her opinions would have been just as sharp today – and possibly even sharper with regard to comrade Corbyn and his nemesis Starmer.

  • Julia Anderson says:

    This is pure madness. I am so very sorry.

  • M A sullivan says:

    Only too happy to donate to a crowd fund. Glad you’re fighting this. Solidarity!

  • David McNiven says:

    I regret my inability to contribute regularly to JVL but for this I’ll gladly put back some other things and donate to the best of my ability.
    It occurred to me today that Al Jazeera might have more hidden camera footage of the contributors to Ware’s programme, and of others who’ve contributed in other ways to the persecution of Jeremy Corbyn, that didn’t make it to the final cut of ‘The Lobby’.
    I also wondered whether a side by side showing of edited clips from Panorama and The Lobby might be illuminating.

  • CVA says:

    Solidarity, and looking forward to see if John Ware will proceed this case through the Courts.
    Something tells me, that as soon as he realises that JVL is standing its grounds, he will make an excuse to drop the case.
    Maybe he makes a deal with Starmer to declare JVL a proscribed organisation and have every single one of us expelled from the Party. That would suit them both.

  • DJ says:

    Total respect and solidarity. We must not allow them to shut you down!

  • Claire Weiss says:

    Fully support the efforts to achieve justice and truth for everything that JVL has been standing for and will contribute to a fighting fund for that.

  • Sabine Ebert-Forbes says:

    Dear JVL, please liaise with Carole Morgan who set up the crowd funder for Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Ware seems to be obsessed with levelling accusations of AS at anything that moves or may be critical of his work.
    I am very much perturbed by the recent and constant erosion of democratic rights such as freedom of speech. I think we do have our work cut out! We have to nip it in the bud!
    If there is any thing I can do to support you , please let me know. Good luck, we all need it!

    • Mike Cushman says:

      We do liaise and keep in contact with the others being pursued by Ware

  • John Spencer says:

    Solidarity. Ready to contribute to your defence costs.

  • Peter Jenner says:

    Isn’t Ware supposed to be a journalist?

    I thought journalism was supposed to be about revealing the truth. To do that freedom of speech for all should be encouraged, not shut down.

    Perhaps I’m wrong.

    Or perhaps Ware is not a journalist.

  • Jim Driscoll says:

    I stand in solidarity and looking forward to contributing to the fighting fund

  • Stephen Williams says:

    You have my support.

  • Rosemary Brocklehurst says:

    I will contribute and I have no doubt you will be most deservedly supported.

  • Leslie Hartop says:

    By working together, both Jeremy and JVL could be much stronger.

    Jeremy would bring the mass movement, the celebrity, the ability to mobilise people and funds… JVL brings legitimacy on the topic of antisemitism.

    This would in no way mean that JVL had to lose independence or wait to discuss every point with him, but openly endorsing each other and sharing resources would strengthen both of you.

    Good luck with the case JVL donation made. Ask again if needed.

  • David Townsend says:

    I am not Jewish, but I am a democratic socialist and a supporter of JVL.

    JVL is one of the very few places where a genuine and intelligent voice for the ‘left’ can be heard. I am very grateful that you exist and wish you well in the face of the dark forces that exist within Labour.

    You have my support.

  • BRIAN BURDEN says:

    More power to your arm!

  • JTW says:

    The last person who wants this is …Kier Starmer. He will be pressurising Ware NOT to proceed. The best thing for us to happen is to have Ware take legal action. There uis a better than evens chance he will lose.

  • William Johnston says:

    Starmer’s action – or lack of it – reminds me of Churchill’s comment on an appeaser: being someone who feeds the crocodile in the hope that it will eat him last.

    If it comes to an election that Starmer looks like winning, you can be quite sure that the usual suspects will turn on him without batting an eyelid. I can almost see the long game that he thinks he is playing; I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here. The problem is that, when you play according to someone else’s skewed set of rules, defeat is more or less inevitable.

  • Catherine Flannery says:

    Just sent some money towards any legal costs. Solidarity & best wishes – Kate Flannery & David Etherington

  • Ian Hughes says:

    Solidarity, very willing to contribute to the fund. Thank you JVL.

  • Mike Scott says:

    There is of course a massive principle at stake here, but we shouldn’t expect that going to court will necessarily give us the right outcome. My advice has always been to avoid the law if at all possible!

    However, we are where we are, so have no choice but to fight back. I’m sure the left will rally behind us, but we must do everything possible to give ourselves the best chance – and that means getting the people best able to put our case on board. We need to be putting feelers out now and getting into discussions as soon as possible.

  • Vera Lustig says:

    Following this case with interest, and in dismay, but am very short of funds. For the record, I wrote to Keir Starmer about 2 weeks ago, saying that, when he visits Israel he should also go to the Occupied Territories and meet activits. Also said that I didn’t regard Maxine Peake’s remark about the knee-to-neck hold as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, as that term, for me, evokes the blood libel or Holocaust denial. Still to receive a reply.

  • Cath Jones says:

    Happy to support your legal battle. These vile people must be defeated.

  • Dittany Morgan says:

    Solidarity Comrades. I went to many good meetings of yours at the last 3 conferences. We must have our day in court, I believe we will win.
    I have left the party, which broke my heart. I can no longer give what little money I have to be misappropriated by them. Very, very angry about all of this and always willing to help with anything you may need.

  • Simon Allen says:

    This is dreadful. Please let me know if you need any help with a legal fund. I have donated to Jeremy’s fund and I am more than happy to dontate to yours too.


    Simon Allen

  • Annie Weatherly-Barton says:

    Standing with you dear friends! Such a sham from these awful people! It is not right or just! With very much love to you all

  • Mohamed Pirani says:

    Our full Support

  • Di Allen says:

    Greetings and Solidarity, JVL. Disgraceful that Ware is taking legal action against you. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? He is up in arms because his credibility as an investigative journalist has been challenged yet he is fully prepared to do the same to yourselves. What hypocrisy!

    I have only recently joined the JVL mailing and already have learned so
    much more about the political situation in Israel in articles from far less biased journalists and independent writers. They have exposed the many distortions of the ‘truth’ as published by social media and I believe I have a much better understanding as a result.

    I will happily support your defence against Ware as soon as a medium for donating is set up. Again, solidarity and thanks.

  • DAVID JONES says:

    I am short of funds but will make sure JVL get whatever I can spare for this.
    Keep going – we (UK) need you.

  • Linda Poulson says:

    I will gladly support your crowd funding page, also Jeremy Corbyn and Mike Sivier.

  • RH says:

    All has been said above.

    Get the fund organised and set up on a sound basis. In the meantime get the needed expertise lined up for a demolition of the case.

  • Sandy Palmer says:

    Fully behind you, solidarity. Desperate to donate, a red line needs to be drawn.

  • Pauline Fraser says:

    I have just donated £25.00 to your funds. Please use to defend the court case.

  • Debbie Epstein says:

    I’ve just donated £25 via PayPal specifically to support the defence. Hope you/we win

  • Solidarity to you from a non-Labour supporter who just wants to see justice. This is your chance to nail Ware and the disgraceful Panorama programme.

  • Credit card at the ready.

  • Billie Dale Wakefield says:

    Resigned from the Labour Party over the misappropriation of my subs to the ‘whistleblowers’, sent a number of articles from JVL with it as well outlining the whole miserable five years of my experience of this McCarthy witch hunt experience, and ended my resignation saying I can no longer support a Labour Party that is deeply anti-semitic toward the Palestinian people by every action it takes. I will gladly support a fund for a court case – whether it is against you by Ware or by you against Ware.

  • Stephen Mitchell says:

    Will Ware have the bottle to go ahead when it comes to the crunch? This is one he could lose. I shall contribute when you tell me how. Make it easy for me to do so.

  • bill major says:

    Good luck. Will support any defence against this person.

  • Doug says:

    With these cases all coming from one source it makes legal sense to have them all heard together
    It also makes it easier to defend and allows your legal team to apply to have them all struck out as vexatious claims
    Finally there is safety in numbers
    My feeling is although you would win in court the case we as members and supporters need to be successful is the class action
    Win that and we clean up the party and put AS Scam to bed

  • Ivor Dembina says:

    I am a proud Jew and a proud supporter of JVL. Will definitely donate some money.

  • Jennifer Joy-Matthews says:

    I will be very happy to donate to you legal fund.

  • Bob Reeves says:

    A worryingly repressive move. Using the libel courts to crush opposition! This action has wide implications so solidarity is essential.

  • Peter Downey says:

    Good luck JVL
    Let those who support free speech , whether they come from outside the Left need to get behind you.

  • Sean O’donoghue says:

    Solidarity folks. When Ware and Lewis see they dont have an open door, they’ll probably withdraw as the only way they could win is by Lawfare (a new word)…forcing an apology from you because you cant afford to go to court. Somewhere along the way Ware, Lewis and Rachael Riley can hopefully be designated as vexatious litigants..

  • Mary Davies says:

    You have my total support and respect.

  • Jacob Ecclestone says:

    Reading these many comments, I am struck by the number of your supporters (and I count myself as one) who express sadness and regret that John Ware should have begun legal proceedings against JVL. While I do not for a moment underestimate the time, resources and work which will be required to defend the case, my reaction is one of relief. Here, at last, there is the possibility of setting out the evidence in a court of law to show that the Labour Party has been the victim of a foul campaign built on lies, smears, falsehoods and bullying. A campaign driven by a coalition of foreign diplomats, media organisations, people employed and paid to work for the election of a Labour government, members of the Parliamentary Labour Party and religious bigots.

    Having just read Peter Oborne’s savage demolition of any claims which the ECHR might have once had to fighting racism in Britain ( which left me depressed) I welcome Mr Ware’s decision. Having brought, fought and won libel proceedings against my former employers – the National Union of Journalists – I am aware how long and hard this fight will be. But I will support JVL in every way that I can over the coming months (and years?) because you stand for truth, tolerance and freedom of speech.

    Keir Starmer having foolishly chosen to tie himself – and therefore the Labour Party as an organisation – to the policies and prejudices of people who loathe anything to do with socialism, Mr Ware’s claim against JVL at least offers a way in which you can help to clear the membership as a whole of the stain of anti-semitism. Would that not be a wonderful irony?

  • DJ says:

    Keep those messages of support rolling in.

  • Paul M says:

    Solidarity guys..

    You are a real beacon of reason and balance amidst all the bilge, and a really important source of information for non Jewish socialists like myself.

    I find it the height of irony that John Ware is suing you for criticising his documentary when it deliberately omitted counter opinions from people like yourselves…which is the point.

    Happy to contribute to your legal fund when you set it up.

  • Jim Malone says:

    JVL has been at the heart of the socialist revival within the Labour Party hence the attention from the right in our movement. JVL has my full support in fighting back against Ware , solidarity.

  • James McGuire says:

    Happy to contribute to a defence fund. Strength in solidarity.

  • Martyn Meacham says:

    The JVL is a great organisation, well worth supporting.

  • James Dickins says:

    Another false Corbyn-related ‘antisemitism’ claim has just been exposed in court:


    “A Conservative peer has accepted “substantial” damages from the publisher of the MailOnline over “highly defamatory allegations” about his attendance at a conference on Palestinian rights, which was also attended by Jeremy Corbyn. Lord Sheikh, 79, sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) for libel over an August 2018 article which accused him of attending “Corbyn’s hate conference” after “years of rubbing shoulders with Islamists, hate preachers and Holocaust deniers”. The Tory peer later confirmed he had attended the conference in Tunisia in 2014 – at which Mr Corbyn was pictured at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Palestinian Martyrs’ Cemetery in Tunis – but insisted the focus was on the “Arab Spring, affecting the whole of the Middle East and North Africa”.

  • Mike D says:

    Hi JVL,
    Willing and ready to help and support you in defending you and your officers through a Gofundme contribution if necessary.
    Cheers all,
    Mike D

  • STEPHEN PYLE says:


  • Stefanie Doebler says:

    Huge solidarity from me, too! Thank you for your courage! Please do post a fundraiser soon, so we can support you!

  • Jack T says:

    This is wonderful news and it could be a turning point in peoples’ understanding of Zionism. Go for Ware with both barrells and let the public see the racism of Zionism exposed and the hypocrisy of Starmer, Long Bailey, Nandy and the rest on display.

  • Jack T says:

    More than pleased to donate. I believe it will be money well spent to call out the hypocrisy now on display by the Zionist Lobby and in the Labour Party.

  • Alexander Gavin says:

    There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said. I think it is likely John Ware will drop his case and that would not be a good thing as you’d be denied your day in court. While this is a very difficult situation is there a way to counter sue, someone mentioned this earlier, so you and indeed any rational thinking person can get a fair hearing? I have donated to JC’s fund and will donate to JVL . Reason must prevail and extreme right wing lies cast down.

  • Lee Foxall says:

    JVL, I wish you all the very best in fighting this case, and hope that reason prevails.

  • Roshan Pedder says:

    Had a fund raising appeal from the Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds land in my IN box this morning. I replied that under normal circumstances I may have contributed but since Keir Starmer thought the party had more than enough funds to pay “substantial damages” to John Ware and the seven “whistle blowers”, I have decided instead to send the money to the JVL and Corbyn fighting fund instead!
    Fight on. I will contribute to the best of my ability. Feeding the crocodile is not an option.

  • Patrick Morrello says:

    Hi, do you need more fundraising help with this? I have just donated £50 but I know lawyers can be so expensive. Happy to donate more. Patrick

  • Liz Brynin says:

    Happy to support your fight back financially. Let us know how to donate.

  • Alison MCGARRY says:

    Solidarity with JVL. Finally formally joined you.

  • Chris Carrigan says:

    Very keen to contribute, and make a stand against the methodical, evil repression which is being grown in the UK today. Solidarity!

  • Catherine Newall says:

    Will definitely donate.

  • Pat Corrigan says:

    Happy to contribute

  • northdurhamlass says:

    The group Labour Activists 4 Justice (LA4J) are a group of Labour Party members who have been caught up in the absurdities of Labour’s disciplinary processes. These processes are unjust and unfair, and they intend to use the law to get them changed. After the today’s email to CLPs by David Evans this can no longer be posted on social media, so here is the link:

Comments are now closed.