23rd February 2018   •   article
Baroness Warsi gets apology and £20,000 in damages from Jewish News over "offensive" article

by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: BBC Marr Show
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has secured an apology and significant libel damages from the publication Jewish News for an article it published in April last year.

She said the article led to a torrent of abuse and inflamed tensions between Muslims and Jews in Britain. The law firm Carter Ruck represented her interests.

Jewish News said in a front-page apology today: "In a column written by Colonel Richard Kemp published in the Jewish News and jewishnews.co.uk on 6 April 2017, it was suggested that Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has sought to excuse the appalling conduct of the barbaric Islamic State terror group."

"The column also suggested that Baroness Warsi has objected to action being taken against British Muslims who murder and rape for Islamic State. We wish to make absolutely clear that these allegations were wholly untrue and should never have been published."

"Baroness Warsi is utterly appalled by the actions of ISIS and all terror groups (indeed, she is widely reported to be on an ISIS death list herself) and has never said anything to remotely suggest otherwise. She also believes that ISIS fighters returning to the UK should face the full force of British law.

The publication agreed to pay her in £20,000 damages, in addition to her legal costs, and Baroness Warsi said the money would be donated to The Savayra Foundation UK, a women’s empowerment charity, Nisa Nisham, a Jewish and Muslim Women’s network and Wakefield Hospice.

Warsi said she had been subjected to much abuse over a period of 7 months since it had published.

"I am a passionate supporter of interfaith relations, and unfounded allegations such as the ones published by Colonel Kemp and Jewish News serve only to reinforce and inflame the divisions between communities."

She would have let the matter rest if Jewish News had published an apology and retraction earlier she added. But the newspaper treated her with "contempt" and refused to do so.

"I am pleased that they have now apologised and accepted that Colonel’s Kemp’s article was utterly false and should never have been published. By contrast, as perhaps befits an individual who appears to wantonly publish inflammatory and offensive comments without a thought for the consequences (let alone the truth), Kemp himself has been too cowardly even to respond to my solicitors’ correspondence."
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