The Countdown presenter Rachel Riley has told a precocious tribunal justice that a tweet by an adjutant of the past Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, earnestly harmed her estimation and led to a concerted run to get her fired.
Riley is suing Laura Murray implicit the tweet, posted a abbreviated clip aft Corbyn was deed by eggs thrown by a Brexit protagonist during a sojourn to Finsbury Park mosque connected 3 March 2019; the attacker was aboriginal jailed for 28 days for assault.
Shortly aft the incident, Riley tweeted a screenshot of a January 2019 tweet by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones astir an onslaught connected the erstwhile British National enactment person Nick Griffin, successful which Jones said: “I deliberation dependable beingness proposal is, if you don’t privation eggs thrown astatine you, don’t beryllium a Nazi.”
She past added “good advice”, on with an emoji of a reddish roseate and an egg.
Later that day, Murray tweeted: “Today Jeremy Corbyn went to his section mosque for Visit My Mosque Day, and was attacked by a Brexiteer. Rachel Riley tweets that Corbyn deserves to beryllium violently attacked due to the fact that helium is simply a Nazi. This pistillate is arsenic unsafe arsenic she is stupid. Nobody should prosecute with her. Ever.”
In a written statement, Riley said she was being “sarcastic” successful her tweet and had not called Corbyn a Nazi.
“The effect to the defendant’s libel of maine was a concerted onslaught connected maine and my career,” Riley said. “My vocation is successful the nationalist domain. A concerted run was initiated to get maine fired from my job, arsenic being idiosyncratic who had advocated violence.”
She told the justice she had received “a large woody of abuse” and that “most of it” was caused by Murray’s tweet.
William McCormick QC, defending Murray, told the justice that the mode of Riley’s tweet was “both anserine and dangerous”, adding: “It was evident that her tweet would provoke hostile reactions of the benignant that did successful information emerge. What the suspect tweeted was true, reflected her honestly held opinions and was a liable workout of her ain rights of look connected a substance of existent nationalist importance.”
Riley said she had been acrophobic that the “false allegation” that she had “encouraged a convulsive attack” had made her a people for reprisals.
Mr Justice Nicklin, who is overseeing the trial, had ruled astatine an earlier proceeding that Murray’s tweet was defamatory successful communal law due to the fact that the meaning was that Riley “had publically stated successful a tweet that helium [Corbyn] deserved to beryllium violently attacked”.
He has present been asked to see whether superior harm was caused to Riley’s estimation and whether Murray, who is contesting the lawsuit, had a “truth”, “honest opinion” oregon “public interest” defence to the TV presenter’s libel claim.
The lawsuit continues.