Andrew Bridgen ordered to pay Matt Hancock £44,000 in authorized prices in libel battle | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Andrew Bridgen has been ordered to pay former well being secretary Matt Hancock greater than £40,000 in authorized charges after an early stage of their libel battle.

Mr Bridgen is suing Mr Hancock over a January 2023 tweet about Covid-19 vaccines.

He needs to “clear his name” after allegedly being accused of antisemitism in a “malicious” social media submit by Mr Hancock, the High Court in London beforehand heard.

But a decide on Thursday concluded Mr Bridgen should pay Mr Hancock £44,300 and warned the declare could be struck out if amendments weren’t made within the subsequent few weeks.

Mrs Justice Steyn issued a written order by which she made a timetable for adjustments and made selections on who ought to choose up which payments.

After the court docket order was made public on Thursday, Mr Hancock posted on X: “Glad the Court has awarded costs against Mr Bridgen at this stage of his absurd libel action, and explicitly stated that I was the successful party – contrary to Bridgen’s ridiculous claims at the time.

“Mr Bridgen ought to cease losing the court docket’s time and drop this case now.”

Later on Thursday evening, Mr Bridgen posted a crowdfunding link on X, saying: “My case in opposition to Matt Hancock is on the cusp of exposing his illegal behaviour.”

He added: “However there’s a prices order of £44,300 to pay by subsequent week and the group fund is working low. If anybody may also help please let me know.”

At the previous hearing, a judge was told Mr Bridgen shared a link to an article “regarding information about deaths and different adversarial reactions linked to Covid vaccines” on January 11, and stated: “As one marketing consultant heart specialist mentioned to me, that is the most important crime in opposition to humanity for the reason that Holocaust.”

Hours later, Mr Hancock wrote on Twitter – now known as X – that “disgusting and harmful antisemitic, anti-vax, anti-scientific conspiracy theories spouted by a sitting MP this morning are unacceptable and have completely no place in our society”.

Mr Bridgen believes “each particular person studying the tweet knew it was about me”, that it was “severely defamatory and unfaithful” and intended to cause “grievous hurt” to his reputation, the court was told.

Mr Hancock’s lawyers argued the claim against him should be thrown out as it did not have “a practical prospect of success” and because of the “lack of a correctly articulated case”.

In a ruling last week, Mrs Justice Steyn “struck out” certain parts of Mr Bridgen’s case but did not dismiss the whole claim, instead giving the Independent MP a chance to make amendments and “treatment the deficiencies”.

In Thursday’s court order, the judge said: “Although I’ve not struck out the particulars of declare, the defendant (Mr Hancock) readily acknowledged that the results of his utility is likely to be an order alongside the strains that I’ve now made.

“In the circumstances, it is clear that the defendant is the successful party.”

Mrs Justice Steyn additionally mentioned that if Mr Bridgen doesn’t present the small print of his amended declare or doesn’t efficiently make the required utility, the libel declare can be thrown out totally.