The publication complained of related to the plaintiff Cabinet Minister (referred to in the article as Phil), in which it was stated that a man had seen one Judd, to whom an import licence had been issued, with the object of getting information from him about import procedure, and that Judd had told him to ‘see Phil and Phil would fix it’.
Held: The Board considered the potential effect of a newspaper repeating a defamatory of another. Lord Denning said: ‘if the words had not been repeated by the newspaper, the damage done by J would be as nothing compared to the damage done by this newspaper when it repeated it. It broadcast the statement to the people at large.’
Lord Denning quoted the judge’s direction ‘If you accept that those words were spoken by Judd, it is not a defence at all that a statement that might be defamatory is put forward by way of report only. It does not help the defendant that the way that it is put is that Judd said ‘See Phil and Phil would fix it’. The case is properly to be dealt with as if the defendant itself said ‘See Phil and Phil would fix it’ And said: ‘Their Lordships see nothing wrong in this direction. It is nothing more nor less than a statement of settled law put cogently to the jury.
Gatley opens his chapter on Republication and Repetition with the quotation
‘Every republication of a libel is a new libel, and each publisher is answerable for his act to the same extent as if the calumny originated with him….’. This case is a good instance of the justice of this rule. If Judd did use the words attributed to him it might be a slander by Judd on Mr Holloway in the way of his office as a Minister of the Crown. But if the words had not been repeated by the newspaper, the damage done by Judd would be nothing compared to the damage done by this newspaper when it repeated it. It broadcast the statement to the people at large.’
 1 WLR 997
Cited – Roberts and Another v Gable and others CA 12-Jul-2007
The claimants appealed a finding of qualified privilege in their claim of defamation by the defendant author and magazine which was said to have accused them of theft and threats of violence against other members of the BNP.
Held: The appeal . .
Cited – Stern v Piper and Others CA 21-May-1996
The defendant newspaper said that allegations had been made against the plaintiff that he was not paying his debts. In their defence they pleaded justification and the fact that he was being sued for debt.
Held: A defamation was not to be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 May 2022; Ref: scu.254597