Michael Meacher faces legal action for repeating Phil Woolas’s claims

Labour MP Michael Meacher is facing the threat of legal action after he took to his blog at the weekend to repeat some of the allegations made by now disgraced Labour MP Phil Woolas despite the court ruling that they were false.

Michael Meacher represents the neighbouring seat of Oldham West and Royton and claimed on his blog on Saturday that, “In the course of the one-week election court proceedings it appears that Watkins himself admitted that he had spent some £200,000 on the election, which is 7 times above the maximum permitted limit.”

Yet the court judgement (which appeared before Michael Meacher’s blog post) said, “We are therefore satisfied that the Statements made in [Labour campaign leaflets] the Examiner and the Labour Rose that the Petitioner had breached the law by not declaring his expenses … were untrue.” The Labour defence itself during the court case accepted that the claims were false, with the ruling pointed out that, “The Respondent therefore accepted that the Petitioner’s expenses were as declared.”

The Liberal Democrats have issued a statement to the press saying, “The Liberal Democrats are writing to Mr Meacher today to demand an apology and a retraction”.

Meanwhile, the courts have today rejected Phil Woolas’s application for a judicial review.

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