Ex-staffer sues Labour for defamation over leaked antisemitism report

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Ex-staffer sues Labour for defamation over leaked antisemitism report

Senior ex-staffer Emilie Oldknow is among those suing the Labour Party for defamation over its controversial leaked antisemitism report

Sir Keir Starmer (left) alongside former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre)
Sir Keir Starmer (left) alongside former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (centre)

A senior ex-Labour staffer is among 21 people suing the party for defamation over its controversial leaked antisemitism report. 

Emilie Oldknow, alongside twenty others, launched legal proceedings for defamation yesterday afternoon against the Labour Party over the report.

The report, which contained staffers’ private conversations expressing hostility to the former leader Jeremy Corbyn and his allies, claimed factionalism hampered the effort to combat antisemitism.

Oldknow, the former director of governance, was among those whose private WhatsApp conversations were contained in the report unredacted, which contains more than 500 references to her.

Mark Lewis, of Patron Law which is representing the claimants, confirmed the legal bid to Jewish News

“I can confirm that proceedings have been issued by 21 people in respect of the “Leaked Report,” he said.

At the start of March, the High Court ruled against a bid by Oldknow and others to force Labour to reveal the identity of the alleged leakers of the pro-Corbyn dossier.

Mrs Justice Tipples ruled that the application was a “fishing expedition” which could risk harm to potentially innocent individuals.

Oldknow’s counsel in that case had told the court that the dossier was a “politically motivated hatchet job” which attempted to blame her for the party’s failure to deal with antisemitism.

Permission is also being sought for an appeal against that ruling, said Lewis. 

“I do not propose to make any further comment at this time, save to say that an application has also been made to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal the decision refusing to give the identities of those that Labour say leaked the Report,” he said.

The Labour Party declined to comment.

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