May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A bid by union boss Bob Crow to sue London Mayor Boris Johnson for libel has failed.
A judge kicked out the claim by the secretary of Rail Maritime and Transport Union.
Crow had complained about election leaflets which he said portrayed him as bad for London and harmful to Ken Livingstone’s election prospects
Johnson beat Labour candidate Livingstone in the Mayoral poll on May 3.
Crow claimed the leaflets painted him as a breaker of promises and a crony who broke promises and figured in scandals.
But Mr Justice Tugendhat rejected the claims and said Londoners would already have decided for themselves whether or not Livingstone was helped or hindered by Crow.
“Insofar as the leaflet is issued by Mr Johnson, plainly it is issued with the intention that the reader should understand that such an association carries negative connotations for the electorate.
“But whether words are defamatory, or merely insulting, or not even that, does not depend upon the intention of the publisher. The test is the understanding of the reasonable reader.
“In this case the reasonable reader will be a Londoner, and the views of Londoners at that election were divided. There were a number of candidates at this election, as on previous elections.
“And as everyone knows, whether or not Mr Livingstone ought to be elected as Mayor of London was not a question upon which it could be said there was a right or a wrong answer which all right thinking people should give.”