The former Conservatives MP for Eastbourne, Nigel Waterson, has been pursuing a libel action against the Lib Dem victor Stephen Lloyd over comments made about his expense claims in election leaflets (for example, see Stephen Lloyd wins defamation judgement appeal).
The most recent stage, a High Court appeal ruling, went decisively in Stephen Lloyd’s favour.
The applications raise the question of whether it is capable of being within the defence of honest opinion to describe, as a scandal, the fact that the claimant claimed £70,000 from taxpayer funds for a family home, 60 miles from his Eastbourne constituency, in circumstances where there is no suggestion of any breach of the rules or the law.
The court’s answer? Yes, you can honestly believe such a thing, and therefore Nigel Waterson’s legal action was rejected.