CARL BENJAMIN – DEFAMATION & BREACHES OF ELECTION LAW

CARL BENJAMIN – DEFAMATION & BREACHES OF ELECTION LAW

The prospective MEP candidate Carl Benjamin was the subject of articles in the Sun and the Daily Mail, which claim he condones the sexual abuse and rape of young boys.

Mr Benjamin alleges that the quotes have been taken out of context and pasted together from different online discussions. Furthermore, the Daily Mail have referred to messages from a fake twitter account. The video below provides a summary of the original videos and how they appear to have been distorted.

I have to reserve judgement pending any reply by the newspapers and any Court action, but the articles appear to involve a reckless failure to ascertain the true factors or a deliberate distortion of disparate quotes. Thus there may be an action for malicious falsehood as well as defamation.

Furthermore, I wonder whether an offence may have been committed under section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (assuming this applies to the European elections – I am not sure if it does), which states:

106False statements as to candidates.

(1)A person who, or any director of any body or association corporate which—

(a)before or during an election,

(b)for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election,

makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct shall be guilty of an illegal practice, unless he can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing, and did believe, that statement to be true.

(2)A candidate shall not be liable nor shall his election be avoided for any illegal practice under subsection (1) above committed by his agent other than his election agent unless—

(a)it can be shown that the candidate or his election agent has authorised or consented to the committing of the illegal practice by the other agent or has paid for the circulation of the false statement constituting the illegal practice; or

(b)an election court find and report that the election of the candidate was procured or materially assisted in consequence of the making or publishing of such false statements.

(3)A person making or publishing any false statement of fact as mentioned above may be restrained by interim or perpetual injunction by the High Court or the county court from any repetition of that false statement or of a false statement of a similar character in relation to the candidate and, for the purpose of granting an interim injunction, prima facie proof of the falsity of the statement shall be sufficient.

F1(4). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(5)Any person who, before or during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal at the election for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of another candidate shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(6)A candidate shall not be liable, nor shall his election be avoided, for any illegal practice under subsection (5) above committed by his agent other than his election agent.

(7)In the application of this section to an election where a candidate is not required to have an election agent, references to an election agent shall be omitted and the reference in subsection (6) above to an illegal practice committed by an agent of the candidate shall be taken as a reference to an illegal practice committed without the candidate’s knowledge and consent.

F2(8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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F2(8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .