NI: MLA ordered to pay £50k to MP in libel ruling
A Sinn Féin MLA has been ordered to pay an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP nearly £50,000 in compensation for falsely implying he had harassed and shot people.
Mr Justice Stephens, sitting in the High Court in Belfast, ruled that Phil Flanagan’s tweet about Tom Elliott’s conduct during his career as a soldier was grossly defamatory.
He said the comments merited £75,000 in damages but reduced that figure by 35 per cent to £48,750 because of Mr Flanagan’s apology and offer to pay damages.
A stay has been put on a payout until Mr Flanagan resolves his separate legal action against the Northern Ireland Assembly’s insurers later this month because of their refusal to cover the claim.
Mr Flanagan was also ordered to pay costs of the libel action.