…and lose in court:
I have today received an apology in the High Court for false and defamatory statements made about me by Ken Livingstone in his recent autobiography,Â You Canâ€™t Say That.Â Other redress has also been agreed. Presumably to save face, Kenâ€™s side insisted that this remain confidential.
In the book,Â reviewed here, Ken wrote that I was â€śshown the doorâ€ť by my previous employer, the Evening Standard, after writing â€śliesâ€ť about the allocation of grants by his administration and the behaviour of his race adviser, Lee Jasper. Ken also claimed that the Standard had repudiated my stories in editorials which â€śsaid there had been no corruption or cronyism at City Hall.â€ť
Alas, it wasn’t me who was lying. As the Standard said in its ownÂ review of the book,Â Â I wasn’t “shown the door.” I left of my own volition to join the Telegraph. No such editorials were printed. The stories won the top award in British print journalism that year and remain available on the paperâ€™s website. LikeÂ this one, for instance, which triggered Jasper’s resignation after I revealed that he had channelled vast sums of money, for no clear purpose, to organisations run by a woman he secretly wanted to â€śhoney glaze.â€ť Ken has never been able to challenge a single word that I actually wrote, as opposed to the various misrepresentations of it that he has made.
I started a claim for libel and this afternoon came the inevitable end â€“ a statement in open court by the publishers ofÂ You Canâ€™t Say That, apologising for Kenâ€™s lies. Itâ€™s not the first time the majesty of the law has extracted that which no mortal hand can manage. A couple of years ago,humble pie was servedÂ courtesy of the former Tower Hamlets leader, Michael Keith, who got damages for being called an â€śIslamophobeâ€ť by Ken.