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YouGov accuses blogger of libel over polling allegations

Former diplomat and blogger Craig Murray has been accused of libel by polling company YouGov.

YouGov is unhappy with what it claims are defamatory allegations made by Murray about its leaders’ debate poll and its CEO, Stephan Shakespeare.

Murray has as yet not removed the posts in question and has also reproduced the letter his ISP reportedly received from YouGov’s lawyers, on his blog.  We contacted YouGov’s lawyer, Dan Tench at Olswang LLP, this morning.

“We have written to Mr Murray stating that he has published serious false and defamatory allegations regarding Mr Shakespeare and YouGov and asked him to remove them,” YouGov told Journalism.co.uk, via its lawyer.  “We still hope that he will do so.”

We asked why it was pursuing this action: “Mr Murray has made serious false and defamatory allegations regarding Mr Shakespeare and YouGov.  He has not sought to substantiate these allegations at all.  Mr Shakespeare and YouGov understandably want these allegations to be taken down.

“We will continue to press Mr Murray to remove these allegations.  If this is unsuccessful, we may have no option but to approach the webhost once again and ask in light of Mr Murray’s wholly  irresponsible actions, to take down the allegations.  We hope very much that that will not be necessary.”

Index on Censorship also reports on the incident at this link…

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  • http://nwsheffield.org NW Sheffield News

    1. Didn’t think Government could sue citizens on this basis – implications for freedom of speech!
    2. Threatening to coerce the ISP to take down the site – again; implications for freedom of speech

    Dangerous times we DO live in.

  • Kerry Murdock

    They want to approach his webhosters? How about taking him to court? Surely the burden of proof is on YouGov to prove it’s not true rather than go to his webhosting company and get them to close down his website.

    What an odd world we live in!

  • Pingback: Law and Media – News and Events, 1 May 2010 « Inforrm's Blog

  • Jack

    Kerry, how does a man with unblemished record (contrary to Craig Murray) prove his innocence? Surely, if you call a person a liar and sleazy, not that person but you have to show that it’s true? Murray has never done that on his website. And to NW Sheffield News, YouGov is not government but a private company.

  • Jack

    What an odd world we live in? Indeed, if some people believe they can publicly accuse anyone of anything without proving the accusation. Guilty until proven innocent?

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