Anti-abortion charity, Life is to receive £5,000 in damages from Lambeth Council, after the High Court ruled that the council published libellous statements about the charity, following its eviction from a council event last year.
Life had a stall at the Lambeth Country Show in July 2018 but was expelled before the second day of the event. Lambeth Council and councillor Ed Davie claimed on Twitter that Life had attended the show without permission and had used inaccurate information to make the booking.
Life denied these claims and accused the council of defamation, breach of contract and interference with freedom of expression. It said it had applied for permission in April and ran a stall in which their stated objectives were to educate people and promote their services.
The charity said the council had told them that they were evicted as they were against the values of Lambeth Council and not in line with the causes the council funds and supports.
In October, the High Court ruled in favour of the charity. A council spokesperson said: “Lambeth Council and Life reached a settlement on October 12, 2018 in relation to threatened claims arising from the removal of Life’s stall from the 2018 Lambeth Country Show. Lambeth agreed to pay Life £5,000 in damages, publish an apology on Twitter and has undertaken not to publish, or cause to be published, the same or similar words to those originally tweeted by the Council on July 22, 2018.”
Life’s head of advocacy Liz Parsons said: “Lambeth’s agreement to settle this matter through a payment of damages is a victory for common sense and freedom of expression. In a climate where the prolife voice is being shut down by local authorities across the country, we want to be clear that we are not going anywhere.
“For almost five decades we have stood firm in our provision of support for women and advocacy for the life of the unborn. The stall at Lambeth sought to educate people about the unborn baby and advertise our care services for pregnant women, including those who are homeless or in need of emotional and practical support. We must, and will challenge any organisation which tries in any way to impede this important work.”