JVL’s Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi issues High Court apology to journalist John Ware

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JVL’s Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi issues High Court apology to journalist John Ware

The JVL co-founder admits her remarks about BBC Panorama journalist Ware's political leanings, made during an interview with BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine, were 'untrue' in statement read out in open court

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jewish Voice for Labour holds up a sign at the #EnoughIsEnough Demonstration against antixemitism, featuring a yellow star and the word Jews

Photo Credit: Marc Morris
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, of Jewish Voice for Labour holds up a sign at the #EnoughIsEnough Demonstration against antixemitism, featuring a yellow star and the word Jews Photo Credit: Marc Morris

Jewish Voice for Labour co-founder Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi has “apologised unreservedly” to the journalist John Ware in the High Court after accepting she made “untrue” and “defamatory” remarks about his political leanings.

The apology, made in open court on Tuesday, followed a libel action brought by Ware against JVL, Wimborne-Idrissi, and the group’s website editor Richard Kuper following the broadcast of the July 2019 BBC Panorama programme that investigated antisemitism within Labour under Jeremy Corbyn.

The day after transmission JVL media officer Wimborne-Idrissi told the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show that Ware had “ a terrible record of Islamophobia, far right politics, he’s been disciplined at – BBC has had to apologise.”

She also wrote on her Facebook page that Ware was a journalist with a “record of right wing, racist work.”

John Ware interviewing former Labour staffers on Panorama. (Credit: BBC Panorama – Is Labour Anti-Semitic?)

Last month, the JVL group, its co-founder Wimborne-Idrissi, and website editor Richard Kuper, released a statement confirming they settled and apologised for the libellous remarks.

JVL subsequently issued a plea to its supporters for £250,000 on the Crowd Justice website after admitting the settlement with Ware “comes at considerable financial cost.”

A legal source suggested the size of this fund raising suggests JVL have had to pay both costs and damages, and leaves the pro-Corbyn group facing an uncertain future.

In a statement read in open court on Tuesday,Wimborne-Idrissi said:”I accept the Court’s judgement that my comments about John Ware in a live radio programme on the Jeremy Vine show were defamatory.

“I should not have asserted that the BBC had taken action against Mr Ware in connection with allegations he has engaged in Islamophobia and extreme far right/or racist politics, nor that this was in any way reflected in his journalistic work.

“I accept these allegations are untrue. JVL and I have apologised unreservedly to Mr Ware and explained that I spoke in the way that I did because I was angry at the content of the Is Labour Antisemitic programme for which Mr Ware was the reporter.”





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