Rachel Riley tells judge she received an ‘onslaught of abuse’ following tweet
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Rachel Riley tells judge she received an ‘onslaught of abuse’ following tweet

Jewish TV presenter and campaigner against antisemitism said a 'campaign' had been initiated to 'get me fired from my job, as being someone who had advocated violence'.

Rachel Riley arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, for a libel case between the television presenter and a former senior aide to ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The 35 year old who appears in the Channel 4 show Countdown, says she was libelled in a tweet posted by Laura Murray. Picture date: Monday May 10, 2021. PA Photo See PA story COURTS Riley. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Rachel Riley arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, for a libel case between the television presenter and a former senior aide to ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The 35 year old who appears in the Channel 4 show Countdown, says she was libelled in a tweet posted by Laura Murray. Picture date: Monday May 10, 2021. PA Photo See PA story COURTS Riley. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Countdown presenter Rachel Riley has claimed she was subjected to an “onslaught of abuse” on social media after an aide to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn labelled her “dangerous” and “stupid” .

The 35 year-old campaigner against antisemitism told the High Court that every time she recalls Laura Murray’s tweet “it is re-traumatising and upsetting and I experience the same physical and mental reactions which affect my sleep and wellbeing.”

Rileys, who is suing Murray for libel, also said the March 2019 tweet had caused “serious harm” to her reputation.

The argument erupted on social media after an egg was hurled at Corbyn during a visit to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London on 3 March, 2019.

Riley then shared a screenshot of a post by Guardian columnist Owen Jones about a similar egg attack on former British National Party leader Nick Griffin in January 2019.

Jones had commented: “I think sound life advice is, if you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi.”

Riley’s reply to Jones included the words “good advice” followed by a rose and egg emoji.

Riley, 35, told the High Court today that she was subjected to a “concerted attack” following Murray’s tweet in March 2019. She said that an online campaign had been initiated to “get me fired from my job, as being someone who had advocated violence”.

Mr Justice Nicklin, the judge in the trial, had ruled at an earlier hearing that Murray’s tweet was defamatory.

He will consider whether serious harm was caused to Riley’s reputation –

and whether Murray had a “truth” or a “public interest” defence to the libel claim.

Riley claimed she was being “sarcastic” in her tweet and had not called Corbyn a Nazi.

William McCormick QC, for Murray, argued that his client’s tweet was true.

“The claimant [Riley] chose to tweet to her 625,000-plus followers about a violent attack in a manner which was both stupid and dangerous,” he said. “It was obvious that her tweet would provoke hostile reactions of the kind that did in fact emerge.

“What the defendant (Ms Murray) tweeted was true, reflected her honestly-held opinions and was a responsible exercise of her own rights of expression on a matter of real public importance.”

The trial is expected to end on Wednesday.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments