Goodman Derrick acts for successful defendant Stephen Lloyd MP
The High Court has handed down its judgment in the long-running defamation action brought by the former Conservative MP for Eastbourne Nigel Waterson against Stephen Lloyd MP, Liberal, and his election agent Rebecca Carr. Nigel Adams from Goodman Derrick acted for Lloyd and Carr in their successful defence.
The case concerned statements made in election leaflets issued by Lloyd and Carr in the run-up to the General Election in 2010 — statements that criticised as ‘a scandal’ certain aspects of Waterson’s expenses claims, made when he was in office.
Waterson objected to the adverse characterisation of his expenses claims in the leaflets as he stated that his expenses claims were within parliamentary rules.
Building on the successful appeal to the Court of Appeal made by Lloyd and Carr earlier this year, the High Court has found that an honest person could have held the view that it was a ‘scandal’ for Waterson to have claimed nearly £70,000 from the taxpayer for a family home 60 miles away from his then constituency in Eastbourne.
The court went on to rule that Waterson’s claim ought not to proceed to a full trial and gave judgment in the case to Lloyd and Carr.
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This note is relevant to office holders who have, or may have, claims that, prior to April 2015, they ought — or wish — to bring against any third party.
The Court of Appeal has twice this year given judgments in the case Coventry and others v Lawrence and another, first in February and more recently in July.
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