UK

Katie Hopkins Says She May Still Appeal Jack Monroe Libel Verdict

Hopkins could have to pay Monroe hundreds of thousands.

15/03/2017 19:46 GMT

Katie Hopkins has suggested she might appeal against the court verdict that requires her to pay thousands to Jack Monroe over defamatory tweets she sent.

The Sun columnist must pay Monroe £24,000 in damages and, reportedly, hundreds of thousands in costs, after the High Court ruled tweets she sent about the food blogger amounted to libel.

In 2015, Hopkins tweeted to suggest Monroe condoned how a war memorial had been defaced during a protest.

She later deleted this, on realising she had confused her with a journalist, and called Monroe “social anthrax” in a second tweet.

On Friday, the High Court ruled the tweets had caused Monroe “real and substantial distress” and they were entitled to “fair and reasonable compensation”.

Now Hopkins has said she “may” appeal the verdict, saying, if she did, her lawyers would argue the tweets were not damaging enough to Monroe’s reputation to constitute defamation.

Speaking on Radio 4’s The Media Show on Wednesday, Hopkins said: “The defamation bar is as low as my labia. I would like the defamation bar to be at a reasonable level.”

Ian Forsyth via Getty Images
Katie Hopkins called Jack Monroe 'social anthrax' in a tweet

She told the programme: “I believe my second tweet was just an opinion tweet and since I deleted the first, those two don’t seem linked to me. But clearly the judge and I will differ in that opinion.

“I will not be changing the way that I operate on Twitter. I will be looking to try to appeal this judgement because I believe the defamation bar could be far higher.”

Press Association
Jack Monroe outside court. Hopkins did not attend the High Court to hear the verdict

She admitted she made a “mistake” with the first tweet, in which she confused Monroe with journalist Laurie Penny who had said she did not have a problem with “Fuck Tory Scum” being spray painted on the Whitehall memorial commemorating women in the Second World War. 

But she said she was “very satisfied with her behaviour” after she deleted it. 

She added: “Where it now stands, the bar is too low. Where it currently sits after this judgment, which is pertinent to my good self, is far too low.

“I would go as far as to suggest that with this judgment a whole new world of defamation judgment law has been opened up.”

PA
The graffiti on the memorial

After Hopkins suggested Monroe approved of the memorial graffiti, the food blogger responded almost immediately: “I have NEVER ‘scrawled on a memorial’. Brother in the RAF. Dad was a Para in the Falklands. You’re a piece of shit.”

After last week’s verdict, Monroe told Victoria Derbyshire: “I feel quite compassionate and quite sympathetic because [towards Hopkins] nobody needs a £300,0 legal bill… I’ve emerged the victor and had a lot of public support and I can’t even begin to imagine how she feels at the moment.

“I bear no ill will towards her, I’ve told my Twitter followers not to be unkind, not to be abusive, because I hope if this case achieves anything it’s people being a little bit kinder and a little bit better to each other on the internet.

“So me, sending my followers in with a pile on, it’s just going to undo all of that.”