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Corbyn crowdfund looks to fill over three-quarter million pound hole despite case win

Right-wing Israel activist dropped case, but legal bill drains crowdfund with £775k still owing

A crowdfund set up by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to pay legal bills by right-wingers attempting to hound the Labour leader, raising hundreds of thousands, has been drained with more than three quarters of a million pounds still owing, despite the failure of an attempt to sue him.

Right-wing pro-Israel activist Richard Millett dropped his legal case in September, with no apology or other compromise by Corbyn – following a similar abandonment by Panorama presenter John Ware, whose attempted lawsuit was the original reason for setting up the crowdfund.

Update: John Ware has told Skwawkbox that contrary to some reports at the time, at no stage did he instruct his lawyer to take proceedings against Jeremy Corbyn and that is therefore incorrect to say that he “abandoned” the case against Mr Corbyn having never initiated proceedings in the first place.

However, the costs already incurred during the defence against Millett have left a £775,000 hole in Corbyn’s funds, according to an update by crowdfund organiser Carole Morgan:

Dear friends and comrades,

As you may remember from the update I posted at the end of September, Richard Millett has now dropped his defamation claim against Jeremy. But although the settlement vindicated Jeremy and cleared his name, he has been left with an enormous bill for the work undertaken by his legal team in preparing his defence over the last three and a half years.

The total bill was originally in the region of £1,477,000. Jeremy has managed to negotiate fees charged by the lawyers but he remains liable for £900,026. We have already paid some of Jeremy’s bills in full, together with a portion of those remaining but that still leaves Jeremy having to raise a further £775,000 for the outstanding amount, including potential corporation tax.

Like me you are probably quite shocked at these costs and I believe it highlights how libel laws have, and are being used to batter down anyone without the resources to cover costs such as these. Jeremy being a case in point.

In the current financial climate it would be unreasonable to expect you, our lovely donors, to raise such a huge additional amount. We have had some discussions with Jeremy however, and he is arranging for a team of experienced fundraisers to help raise additional funds. I will let you know more when further details become available.

I have not provided a detailed breakdown of costs in this update, but if you would like this information, please email me and I will be happy to provide it to you.

With love and solidarity to you all,

Carole xxx

The scale of the costs incurred demonstrates the fundamental unhealthiness of the UK’s legal system, where only the wealthy or well-funded can often afford what passes for ‘justice’ in this country and can inflict huge costs on others even in unsuccessful cases.

Those who wish to contribute to the Corbyn fundraiser can do so here.

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