SCRIVEN'S SMEARS TO CONTINUE
16 March 2010: MESSRS. GISBY HARRISON (SOLICITORS) TO TERRY SCRIVEN
Our Client: Dr Julian Lewis MP
We refer to our previous correspondence with you, which rested with our unanswered letter dated 26 June 2009.
As we mentioned, over the past two years you have engaged in a number of hostile acts towards Dr Lewis. One of these was your initiation of a story, published in the News of the World on 1 March 2009, which included false allegations about his constituency home.
Dr Lewis took the newspaper to the Press Complaints Commission which thoroughly condemned the story and forced the News of the World to apologise, as you are also well aware. The newspaper published the PCC Adjudication and withdrew the offending article from its website.
You should regard this letter as formal notice to you that, should you be tempted to re-circulate this (or any other) false newspaper story about Dr Lewis during the forthcoming General Election campaign, he reserves his right immediately to issue defamation proceedings against you.
You should not make the mistake of thinking that it is safe to recycle defamatory newpaper stories, simply because our client previously chose to use the PCC to deal with them rather than the Courts. He reserves his right to act against you if you re-publish any material defamatory of him, whether he has previously taken the newspaper concerned to the PCC or whether – as in the case of one local newspaper – he has secured an unpublished but categorical admission that a quotation ascribed to him was concocted by its headline-writers.
It would be no defence for you to assert that you are merely repeating libels previously published in a newspaper. Each publication and re-publication is actionable, no matter what form it takes and who is responsible for it. In your case, re-publication would be a significant aggravating factor since you yourself were the originator of the News of the World story. We refer you to the case of Dingle & Associated Newspapers (1964) AC 162, if you are in any doubt on this point.
It will be helpful to be advised by you presently of a firm of solicitors instructed to receive proceedings on your behalf, should you disregard this letter.
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17 March 2010: LETTER FROM TERRY SCRIVEN TO GISBY HARRISON (JULIAN LEWIS’S SOLICITORS)
I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 16th March, 2010, the latest in a series of letters sent by you on behalf of your client.
I wish to make the following pellucidly clear to you and your client.
First, whilst I will certainly be raising a number of issues relating to the conduct of your client over the course of the next few weeks, I am confident that all the issues which I will raise are ones soundly based upon good evidence. I appreciate that your client is quite determined to attempt to intimidate me from raising issues in the public interest, but he should fully understand that he will fail in his endeavour. Any attempt to muzzle proper debate will be resisted vigorously, however much money your client throws into further efforts to intimidate me. Please note that I have spent many years as an investigator and am well able to judge the weight of evidence.
Second [sic], I intend to publish any correspondence from you or him, which I deem to be suitable to assist the public in understanding just what your client's behaviour has involved.
Thirdly, your client has sought to blacken my name in a number of ways, which I intend to fully rebut in the public forum. As a democrat, I am of the opinion that this is a more suitable method of dealing with such issues, rather than hiding behind the cloak of parliamentary privilege or threatening expensive libel actions. I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
Perhaps you would care to suggest to your client that he engages in open debate, rather than threaten unjustified legal proceedings.
I have no intention of nominating any solicitors to accept service. I do, however, have the benefit of advice from experienced leading counsel.
I hope that this letter brings this fruitless correspondence to an end.
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22 March 2010: MESSRS. GISBY HARRISON (SOLICITORS) TO TERRY SCRIVEN
Our Client: Dr Julian Lewis MP
We have received your reply dated 17 March and note that you give no undertaking not to recycle the false story in the News of the World which you initiated and which was condemned by the Press Complaints Commission.
It is rather late in the day for you to wish to engage in what you call 'open debate' with Dr Lewis, given your repeated refusal to answer any questions put to you by him or by us about your behaviour – such as your misguided attempt to have Dr Lewis criminally investigated, for which you were rightly criticised by the then Chief Constable of Hampshire.
Conversely, you have been given numerous opportunities to rectify any statement of fact made about you by him, in or out of Parliament. You have never chosen to do so.
Finally, you should be aware that all previous correspondence between Dr Lewis, yourself and us has already been published in the section of his website entitled 'Terry Scriven's Antics', to which you are welcome to refer anyone who might be interested. This exchange will be no exception.
Although you seem to have changed the format of your address, we are sending this letter to you at [location given], which we understand to be the correct designation.