11:26 GMT15 August 2020
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    The Labour Party agreed to settle a libel case with a group of whistleblowers and a journalist over a response to allegations made to the BBC in a panorama documentary. Allies of former leader Jeremy Corbyn are reportedly looking to hit back at the new leadership over the decision.

    Top figures from the Jeremy Corbyn-era of the Labour Party are reportedly looking to challenge the party’s settlement with a BBC journalist and seven former organisation staff in a libel case over a 2019 Panorama programme regarding antisemitism in the party, the Guardian reports.

    According to several unnamed sources, an out of court settlement was agreed to last week between the journalist and the staff who made the allegations.

    All staff involved were part of the Labour party’s governance and legal unit which was responsible for overseeing the investigation of allegations of misconduct against. party members.

    The former Labour leader and his former director of communications Seumas Milne have also reportedly taken legal advice regarding settlement and apology which was read out in the high court on Wednesday.

    Senior figures are now considering a future challenge to the settlement, the Guardian claims after a full legal challenge to the apology did not take place ahead of the hearing at the high court.

    John Ware, who headed the Panorama report, sued over a Labour statement that accused the  BBC f engaging in “deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead the public”.

    The party - at the time under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn -d issued a formal complaint about the documentary to the BBC, but was rejected by both the corporations Executive Complaints Unit and OFCOM.

    28 complaints of bias against the programme were rejected, concluding it was “duly impartial” and involved the response from the party in the documentary.

    Eight whistleblowers, seven of whom were involved in the legal case, breached non-disclosure agreements to inform the BBC that senior Labour bosses made them feel undermined while they attempted to investigated allegations of antisemitism.

    Corbyn issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that the decision to settle was "disappointing" as the party had been given legal advice that they could win the case and undermines with the 'Forde inquiry'

    The inquiry is an internal NEC investigation into a leaked Labour report including 1000's of messages between Labour staff, including undermining of antisemitism complaints by opponents of Corbyn in an effort to remove him.


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    libel, antisemitism, Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn
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