Monday 16 December 2013

Jacqui Thompson's Appeal - UPDATED

Sad news from London today that Jacqui Thompson's attempt to broaden her appeal against the verdict handed down in the libel case between her and the chief executive of Carmarthenshire County Council earlier this year has been refused.

Jacqui's team had previously been granted leave to appeal on one very narrow legal point relating to a blog post from March 2011 in which she referred to a slush fund, and was hoping to persuade the Appeal Court to re-examine other aspects of the case.

No date has yet been set for the appeal hearing. A fuller report in the South Wales Guardian with some explanatory background can be found here.

A great deal of water has flowed under the bridge since the case was heard in February of this year, including serious questioning of the lawfulness of the council's decision to fund Mr James's counter-claim by the Wales Audit Office. Unfortunately that fell outside the scope of today's review.

The consequences of today's decision are very disappointing for Jacqui and her family, and a number of important matters remain to be resolved, including how the costs of the litigation will be met.

The Wales Audit Office is still also expected to publish its own findings on the libel indemnity, and it may also be about to publish a second report detailing its findings in the row over the chief executive's pension arrangements, although the council's recent decision to back down in that dispute may mean that the report will be quietly shelved.


Jac o' the North, said...

The only hope for Jacqui is that the 'Welsh' Government finally accepts that James and his underlings must be reined in.

In fact, to see a woman lose her home because of the vindictive, and illegally funded, action of the chief executive should be the last straw. Because, while it won't get much publicity inside the county, there'll be others only too ready to use this story.

So if I was Jacqui I wouldn't hesitate to use the London tabloids, who might be happy to run an anti-Labour story with such a human angle.

Tessa said...

This is awful news. Although at least there won't be the crowing & gloating from County Hall this time - not with the muck that's hitting the fan up there.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui, I implore you to do as Jac o'the North suggested!

People, some of you might not agree with the action Jacqui took against Mark James but likewise, I am sure you will not condone Mark James's use of the public purse to counter claim. We really need to stand firm, shout loud and send a clear message to Mr James that we the taxpayers will not give him or any other public servant carte blanche to do as they wish with taxpayers money, particularly when it is them who stands to gain.

Owen said...

Obviously there's still some hope with that one appeal avenue - perhaps boosted by the WAO findings - but it's still a gutting decision.

I concur with Jac. Jacqui should consider going to the red tops.

The WAO will probably have to publish some sort of report, especially in relation to the indemnity, which - correct me if I'm wrong - CCC are standing behind. It was only the pension payment they backed down on, wasn't it?

Cneifiwr said...

Owen - you are right, but the WAO is certainly taking its time.