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Anti-cuts protestor wins £60,000 in libel claim against Mail and Standard

Luke Cooper successfully challenges articles that portrayed him as the 'ringleader' of riots violence.

A university tutor has won £60,000 in libel damages from the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard after successfully challenging articles that linked him to violence during anti-cuts demonstrations in 2010.

Luke Cooper, who is a PhD student and assistant tutor in international relations at Sussex University, was awarded £35,000 from the Evening Standard and £25,000 from the Daily Mail.after they published articles alleging he was a ringleader of the violence that occurred during the anti-cuts protests at Millbank in 2010. Although he took part in the protest, he consistently denied having any role in the attacks on Conservative Party HQ.

Cooper's libel claim was the first to be heard by a jury at the High Court for three years and is expected to be one of the last, with a bill on libel reform included in the Queen's Speech earlier this year.

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman. She writes a weekly podcast column.