High Court judge set to rule on latest round of Prince Harry's libel battle
Prince Harry is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday following a story they ran earlier this year
A High Court judge is due to rule on the latest round of the Duke of Sussex’s libel battle against the publisher of The Mail on Sunday.
Harry is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) after the paper ran a story following a hearing in the duke’s separate High Court claim over his security arrangements when he is in the UK.
The piece was published in February under the headline: “Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret… then – just minutes after the story broke – his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute.”
At a hearing in June, Mr Justice Nicklin was asked to determine the “natural and ordinary” meaning of the parts of the article in the claim, and whether they were defamatory.
He will now give his ruling on Friday.
Lawyers for Harry argued the article was defamatory and meant that Harry had “lied”, had “improperly and cynically” tried to manipulate public opinion and had “tried to keep his legal fight with the Government secret from the public”.
Justin Rushbrooke QC, for Harry, said: “Allegations that a person has lied to the public, manipulated the public and attempted to keep secret which ought properly to be public are serious ones which tend to lower him in the eyes of right-thinking people.”
However, ANL’s lawyers argued the article was not defamatory, with Andrew Caldecott QC arguing: “The article does allege that the claimant’s PR team spun the story, or added a gloss unduly favourable to the claimant, which led to inaccurate reporting and confusion about the nature of the claim.
“It does not allege dishonesty against them.”
Mr Justice Nicklin will give his judgement remotely at 10am on Friday.