The High Court has today ruled in my favour on an important preliminary issue in the latest stage of Twitter libel proceedings brought against me by Daniel ‘DC’ Miller and Nina Power—proceedings in which I am also counterclaiming against them for harassment. Amongst other things, the preliminary ruling on meaning relates to whether the meanings of my tweets that Miller and Power complain about include allegations of “fascism”. I argued that these allegations did form part of the meaning of many of my tweets—because they referred to allegations of fascism. Miller and Power argued that they were not relevant and should be excluded.
In finding that the allegations of fascism should be included in the meaning of the tweets, Mrs Justice Collins Rice ruled that Miller and Power had sought “to contend for meanings of the tweets which effectively edit out any reference to fascism on the ground of irrelevance.”
Mrs Justice Collins Rice found “no basis … for doing what [Mr Miller and Ms Power] invite me to do, which is to edit out references to allegations of fascism in determining the meaning of these individual tweets.” She added that “Determining meanings here which redact references to fascism (including from the middle of sentences) is artificial, inappropriate and unnecessary.”
The Court also determined, as I had maintained, that “the allegations of being fascists (or alt-right), whether or not complained of, are a relevant part of the meaning of the tweets … because they contribute to an overall impression that the Claimants and their world-view are being critiqued or evaluated by all of these epithets.”
This is an important judgment, as it recognises that I am entitled to defend Mr Miller and Ms Power’s claim on the basis that the allegations of fascism form part of the meanings of my tweets. This is something that Mr Miller and Ms Power strongly argued against.
Crucially, Mr Miller and Ms Power’s position in court was at odds with the narrative they had been publicly promoting and crowdfunding their legal action with over the past two years; namely that they were suing me for libel for, in their words, being “falsely labelled a fascist”.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my legal team, Catrin Evans QC, Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, and the fantastic team at Mishcon de Reya, for their meticulous work on the case over the past two years. I would also like to thank my friends and family for the unbelievable support they have provided, both emotionally and financially, throughout each stage of these lengthy proceedings.
The judgment in full can be read here.
Update: 22 December 2021
The Court of Appeal has rejected an attempt by Daniel ‘DC’ Miller and Nina Power to appeal July’s preliminary ruling against them.
In refusing Mr Miller and Ms Power’s application for permission to appeal, Lord Justice Warby ruled that it had “no real prospect of success, and there is no other compelling reason to hear an appeal”, finding that Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s July 2021 ruling “involved no error of law”.
A date for the full libel trial has not yet been fixed, but it will now likely take place in 2022.