Rag admits claims were ‘entirely untrue’ and pays compensation as well as Wadsworth’s legal costs
Black left campaigner, journalist, broadcaster, author and lecturer, Marc Wadsworth, has won his libel claim against the publisher of The Jewish Chronicle.
Wadsworth, who founded the Black-led Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991, Europe’s largest movement of its kind, and is the editor of citizen journalism website, The-Latest.com, brought his complaint in relation to an article published in the 12 March 2021 edition of The Jewish Chronicle, a version of which was also published on the newspaper’s website from 15 March 2021.
According to Wadsworth, this is the fifteenth time in five years that the paper has had to retract or correct misinformation about him.
The article, whose print edition included a prominent photograph of Mr Wadsworth taken in 2016, falsely alleged that he was involved with a group of Labour members, including individuals said to have been suspended or expelled from the party, in an initiative to track down Jewish Labour activists at their private addresses in order to ‘take care of’ them – that is, to intimidate, threaten or harass them into silence. It was alleged that Mr Wadsworth had spoken at a launch event for the group.
In fact, and as the Jewish Chronicle has now fully acknowledged, the allegations were entirely untrue. Mr Wadsworth had never been involved in or supported the appalling activities alleged by the article. Nor had he been a member of or involved with the group to which the article referred, or attended its launch event.
In a ‘Statement in Open Court’, read out today in the High Court before Mrs Justice Collins Rice, Jewish Chronicle Media Limited acknowledged through its solicitor that its allegations about Mr Wadsworth were entirely false, and apologised for them.
The Statement also recorded that an apology to Mr Wadsworth had already been published both in the print edition of The Jewish Chronicle and on is website, and that the publisher had agreed to pay him substantial compensation for libel, in addition to his legal costs.
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.
He was represented in his action by Carter-Ruck.
This episode is just the latest in a long line of flagrant libels by the Jewish Chronicle, which has had to make similar payments and apologies to Liverpool Pensioner Audrey White for a ‘litany of lies’ against her in no fewer than four separate articles, to Labour member Nada al-Sanjari and to a Palestinian aid charity. The paper was also slammed by IPSO – a rare event for the press-run ‘regulator’ – for its shoddy conduct toward Ms White and its failure to cooperate with IPSO’s investigation into her complaints.
In spite of these appalling journalistic standards, the right-wing rag has seemed to enjoy a hotline to the Labour right, putting out news of suspensions that only Labour could have leaked, before even the victim knew about it.
Labour’s war on members continues. Despite a financial crisis driven by plummeting membership that it is blaming for its plan to make ninety staff redundant, Labour is recruiting 30-50 ‘investigators’ on a temporary contract to pursue members and this week it proscribed four activist groups, expelling around a thousand further members.
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