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Why Cameron didn’t legally react to ‘piggate’

Following David Cameron’s  claim that he was ‘too busy running the country’ to bring legal proceedings in respect of Lord Ashcroft’s allegations that he once inserted ‘a private party of his anatomy’ into a dead pig’s mouth, when should an individual issue defamation proceedings? 

24 November 2015

Putting aside a legal analysis ?of a nascent claim, including the availability of defences of truth or publication in a matter of public interest, there are a number of reasons why one may prefer to allow a legal wrong to go uncorrected than to seek vindication through proceedings.

Many libel trials relate to matters of public interest and therefore attract intense media scrutiny: 24-hour viral news repeats the underlying defamatory statement, which amplifies the harm caused by the offending publication. Scrutiny may also bring unwelcome inquiries, such as questions over the basis on which an unelected peer arrived at the belief that substantial financial contributions would secure him a cabinet position.  

Prospective claimants will ?also be alive to the dangers of examining an unfriendly witness, such as Lord Ashcroft, who has admitted to having ‘personal beef’ with Cameron. By giving a witness a public platform to grind the axe, the initial ...

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