Katie Hopkins ordered to pay £24,000 to food writer in libel battle

Food blogger Jack Monroe has won her libel claim against Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins and will be awarded £24,000 after a row over two tweets.

Katie Hopkins in Celebrity Big Brother.
Katie Hopkins in Celebrity Big Brother.

Monroe – who is also an anti-poverty campaigner – claimed her reputation suffered “serious harm” when Hopkins tweeted her in May 2015 and asked her if she’d “scrawled on any memorials recently”.

Hopkins had “mistakenly” used Monroe’s Twitter handle instead of that of a columnist who had written about the daubing of a memorial to the women of the Second World War in Whitehall with the words “F**k Tory scum” during an anti-austerity demonstration.

Monroe, pictured below, hit back at the time: “I have NEVER ‘scrawled on a memorial’. Brother in the RAF. Dad was a Para in the Falklands. You’re a piece of s**t.”

She asked Hopkins to apolgise, writing: “Dear @KTHopkins, public apology + £5K to migrant rescue and I won’t sue. It’ll be cheaper for you and v satisfying for me.”

Monroe told the high court in London that she received death threats, and said their legal dispute had been an “unproductive, devastating nightmare.”

She added that Hopkins tweets meant she had either vandalised a war memorial or “condoned or approved” of it and her lawyer, Mark Lewis, said that rather than immediately apologise for the error, “the self-styled ‘rent-a-gob’ defiantly posted another defamatory tweet” and had gone on to conduct her legal defence “by slinging as much mud as she could to hide the fact that she had made this false allegation”.

He added: “Hopkins claimed that Twitter was just the wild west where anything goes. The judge has shown that there is no such thing as a Twitter outlaw … and the price of not saying sorry has been very high.”

Mr Justice Warby ruled that “whilst the claimant may not have proved that her reputation suffered gravely, I am satisfied that she has established that the publications complained of caused serious harm to her reputation”.

Speaking outside of court, Monroe said: “I am very relieved that it is over and done with.

“It has been a very long and very arduous process. There have been many times when I have almost given up and walked away. But I started something and I had to see it through, and I have done.”

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