News & Opinion

Observer editor joins campaigners in letter calling for action against SLAPP lawsuits

In response to Arron Banks’ defamation suit against journalist Carole Cadwalladr, Paul Webster pens a letter against ‘another… wealthy individual appearing to abuse the law in an attempt to silence a journalist’.

Paul Webster, editor of the Observer, and other representatives from organisations including Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Index on Censorship and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, issued a joint call for action to tackle “strategic litigation against public participation” (SLAPP) lawsuits.

The move from Webster and co was provoked by prominent Brexit campaigner Arron Banks filing a defamation suit against Carole Cadwalladr over claims she made that he was offered money by the Russian Government.

The open letter called on Government Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Jeremy Wright to consider new legislation to fight back against: “another example of a wealthy individual appearing to abuse the law in an attempt to silence a journalist”.

They also asked both Secretaries of State to take a public stance in support of Cadwalladr and investigative journalism in general.

You can read the full letter here.

Sam Hudson 23/07/19

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