Latest round of Rachel Riley libel challenge heard in court

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Latest round of Rachel Riley libel challenge heard in court

Lawyers argued about claims of online abuse, harassment and bullying towards the countdown presenter

Rachel Riley  (Credit: Yakir Zur)
Rachel Riley (Credit: Yakir Zur)

The latest round of a libel challenge by lawyers acting for Countdown presenter Rachel Riley and Vox Political reporter Mark Sivier reached the courts again on Friday, as lawyers argued about claims of online abuse, harassment and bullying.

The allegations stem from vitriol surrounding antisemitism in the Labour Party, against which Riley has been a vocal critic, and this week’s hearing was centred on a strike-out action.

Sivier, who has raised for than £100,000 for legal fees through crowdfunding, called Riley’s latest legal action “a vexatious attack… to have my defence against her libel action struck out… to avoid having the evidence heard at a trial”.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice heard the arguments at the High Court as barristers jostled over Riley’s allegations that Riley engaged in a campaign of online abuse and harassment against her, allegations denied by Sivier.

It is the latest libel case pursued by Riley and fellow Jewish TV personality Tracy Ann-Oberman, supported by Israel-based lawyer Mark Lewis, whose witness statement was considered in court.

Late last year a High Court judge heard pre-trial submissions over the pending libel case between Riley and Sivier, concerning the latter’s 2019 article in which he called Riley a “serial abuser”, including of a 16-year-old girl who received death threats.

The judge said Sivier’s argument that Riley’s “irresponsibility” had caused supporters to issue death threats was opinion, as was his description of her as a “hypocrite”.

The case continues.


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