Spawning libel actions

A sub-plot has developed as the provisional hearing date next month draws nearer in the libel action being taken by former Welsh police superintendent Gordon Anglesea against the Independent on Sunday, The Observer, Private Eye and HTV.

Scallywag magazine has joined the fray and served a libel writ on defamation lawyer Barton Taylor of Russell Jones & Walker, who is acting for Anglesea. This followed comments made by Taylor in an article in the North Wales Pioneer in which he said Anglesea might sue Scallywag for criminal libel.

David Price & Co has issued the writ on behalf of Scallywag. Taylor says the magazine's writ will be robustly defended and fellow partner Sarah Webb and Andrew Caldecott QC had been instructed. The criminal libel proceedings against the magazine could follow Anglesea's action next month.