Corbyn crowdfunder page launches new £775,000 appeal to pay Millett legal bill

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Corbyn crowdfunder page launches new £775,000 appeal to pay Millett legal bill

Founder of Jeremy Corbyn GoFundMe page says he faced total bill "in the region of £1,477,000" after pro-Israel activist Richard Millett's libel claim against him was discontinued

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Fundraising page for Jeremy Corbyn
Fundraising page for Jeremy Corbyn

A Jeremy Corbyn crowdfunding page set up to help pay the ex Labour leader’s legal bills has launched a new appeal to raise an outstanding £775,000 it says it due as a result of the discontinued libel claim brought by a pro-Israel activist.

A message written by the founder of the Jeremy’s Legal Fund page, Carole Morgan states:”As you may remember from the update I posted at the end of September, Richard Millett has now dropped his defamation claim against Jeremy.

“But although the settlement vindicated Jeremy and cleared his name, he has been left with an enormous bill for the work undertaken by his legal team in preparing his defence over the last three and a half years.

“The total bill was originally in the region of £1,477,000. Jeremy has managed to negotiate fees charged by the lawyers but he remains liable for £900,026.

“We have already paid some of Jeremy’s bills in full, together with a portion of those remaining but that still leaves Jeremy having to raise a further £775,000 for the outstanding amount, including potential corporation tax.”

In September it was confirmed by lawyers acting for Corbyn and for Millett that the libel against brought against the former leader had been discontinued.

Millett begun the actionagainst Jeremy Corbyn following his statement during an interview onBBC’sThe Andrew Marr Showon 23 September 2018.

During the broadcast, Corbyn was asked if he was an antisemite before being shown a recording of a speech he made in 2013 in which he referred to “Zionists” who “don’t understand English irony”.

A trial had been scheduled to begin in October, but it was announced only days earlier that it would not be proceeding.

The parties released a statement stating:”The libel claim brought by Richard Millett against the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP has been settled.

“Mr Corbyn has paid no damages, has made no apology and has given no undertakings concerning repetition of the words complained of.

“No costs have been paid by either party to the other as part of this settlement save in respect of an outstanding Order of the Court of Appeal from April 2021.

Neither party will be making any other comment about the case.”

It is not clear how much Corbyn has already paid towards settling his legal and tax bills following the discontinuing of the case.

Parliament’s Register of Members Financial Interests, updated for the period 4-17th October 2022, shows that Corbyn declares a payment accepted on September 12 to the value of £ 100, 000 to JBC Defence Ltd for “legal fees paid to my solicitor in the case of Millett v Corbyn.”

A further payment accepted two days later is again to JBC Defence Ltd for £8000.

Morgan was listed as a director of JBC Defence.

In October 2020, Corbyn had confirmed:”I am likely to benefit from a legal fund managed by JBC Defence Ltd which was set up on 16 October 2020 to help meet any legal costs which I or my supporters incur in relation to allegations of defamation.”

In her update of the Go Fund Me page Morgan confirms having “some discussions with Jeremy” who “is arranging for a team of experienced fundraisers to help raise additional funds.”

She adds:”Like me you are probably quite shocked at these costs and I believe it highlights how libel laws have, and are being used to batter down anyone without the resources to cover costs such as these. Jeremy being a case in point.

In the current financial climate it would be unreasonable to expect you, our lovely donors, to raise such a huge additional amount. ”

Morgan says she had “not provided a detailed breakdown of costs in this update, but if you would like this information, please email me and I will be happy to provide it to you.”



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