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7 October 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:11am

MigrationWatch UK drops threat of libel suit against Sally Bercow

No apology from Bercow as MigrationWatch back down.

By Patrick Osgood

Last week we revealed that Sally Bercow had been threatened with legal action by MigrationWatch UK and its chairman, Sir Andrew Green. Today the organisation has dropped its case.

The legal threat followed comments Bercow made on Sky News on 19 August regarding an Express story on immigration and youth unemployment. MigrationWatch’s legal complaint was based on an assertion that Becow conflated the immigration think tank and its chaiman with Oswald Mosley and Nazism. Bercow’s lawyers refuted this and she has not apologised for her remarks.

David Allen Green, a solicitor acting for Bercow, today branded the threatened action “illiberal and misconceived”.

Green confirmed that, unusually, MigrationWatch’s solicitor has not formally contacted him to confirm the climbdown, instead learning of this via the website of Iain Dale, the conservative blogger. Niether Dale’s blog nor a press release issued by MigrationWatch mention whether Sir Andrew Green, stated in the initial legal letter to be a co-claimant, has also decided not to pursue Bercow.

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MigrationWatch failed to proivde a comment when New Statesman ran the initial story, and were unavailable for comment today.

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Dale, who defended MigrationWatch against Bercow’s remarks on air, says the outcome is a “no-score draw”, despite the demolition job (pdf) done on the initial legal threat by Bercow’s lawyers, and the stridency of the initial letter to Bercow threatening libel action if an apology was not received.