The London Evening Standard has apologised to Payam Tamiz, the former Conservative council candidate for Salmestone, for publishing an article named “Tory resigns over ‘Thanet girls are slags' outburst”. The article alleged that Mr Tamiz had been a member and administrator of a Facebook group entitled ‘Girls in THANET ... you are all slags, hoes, brasses and bheads’ and that his personal web pages were “littered with derogatory references to women”. Mr Tamiz denied membership of the Facebook group and that his personal pages were littered with derogatory references to women.
Mr Tamiz issued libel proceedings in the High Court on 4 January 2012 and instructed Brett Wilson LLP to takeover conduct of the litigation in March 2012. The author of the article and political editor of the Standard Joe Murphy was subsequently joined to the proceedings. The parties have now reached a settlement under which the Standardhas also agreed to pay Mr Tamiz damages and a substantial contribution to legal costs.
The apology which was published in the Standardon 13 September 2012 is reproduced below:-
On 27 April 2011 we published an article about Payam Tamiz, who had been standing as a Conservative candidate for election to Thanet District Council, headed “Tory resigns over ‘Thanet girls are slags' outburst”. The article alleged that Mr Tamiz had been listed as a member of a Facebook group with the name ’Girls in THANET ... you are all slags, hoes, brasses and bheads’ and that his personal web pages were “littered with derogatory references to women. We accept Mr Tamiz’s assurances that he was never a member or administrator of this group. We also accept that certain remarks appearing on his Facebook page were critical of a specific personal acquaintance of his and not directed at women in general. We apologise to Mr Tamiz for any distress or embarrassment caused.”
Commenting on the settlement, Mr Tamiz said:-
“I am pleased that these proceedings have concluded and I have received some vindication for the damage done to my reputation. The fallout from the article has caused me and my family a considerable amount of distress. The suggestion that I made derogatory references to women in general has been particularly upsetting, as has the allegation that I was associated with the Facebook group in question. I am extremely pleased that these damaging allegations have finally been repudiated and I am grateful to my legal team for all their help in getting me to this point.”
Partner with conduct of the case: Iain Wilson (Brett Wilson LLP)
Counsel instructed: Godwin Busuttil (5 Raymond Buildings)