Pro-Corbyn Twitter accounts apologise to QC after he takes legal action

Barrister Jeff Samuels has taken legal action against seven accounts on the social media platform over abusive messages


The Ben Jolly Twitter account has issued an apology to the barrister Jeffrey Samuels QC after he received a legal letter warning him he would be sued for libel for a post on the platform which falsely claimed the lawyer's opposition to Jeremy Corbyn was motivated by a wish to save tax.

Mr Samuels, who has lived in Israel since 2016, revealed he had pursued seven "pro-Corbyn accounts" with legal action after he was targeted with abusive messages on the social media platform.

Another Twitter account using the name @socialistbangrs also issued an apology this week over posts which suggested Mr Samuels son was a "fascist" because he served in the Israel Defence Forces.(IDF).

Mr Samuels tweeted: "The message needs to go out to the Corbynite left that their antics on Twitter have real life consequences. The days when Jews were easy prey are long gone."

Sharing the response he had received from the @BenJolly9 account following a solicitors letter Mr Samuels wrote it was "important to note that this apology was not volunteered."

Mr Samuels revealed he had been subjected to abuse after posting an ironic tweet last month noting how an online meeting calling for Jeremy Corbyn to be reinstated into the Labour Party was taking place on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in November 1938 in which the German Nazis vandalised Jewish property.

The QC, who is no longer in practice,  was subsequently subjected to hundreds of abusive tweets in response to his post.

Some of these attacks focused on his involvement as defence lawyer for Levi Bellfield, convicted of the murder of the schoolgirl Milly Dowler, in the 2011 trial .

Other tweets noted that Mr Samuels had made aliyah. He pressed ahead with legal action using Daniel Berke at the Manchester-based firm 3D Solicitors.

In an apology aimed at preventing further action and the possibility of costs, Mr Jolly offered an apology stating: "I would like to apologise to Jeff Samuels QC for falsely claiming that he 'fights for rapists and murders' and that his opposition to Jeremy Corbyn was motivated by a wish to save tax, when in fact he was honestly concerned about antisemitism."

Mr Samuels accepted that as a result of the apology he would not be taking further action against this account and suggested the other accounts sent legal letters "will surely follow."

He added: "It is to be hoped that Ben and others like him will think before tweeting. At least he had the good sense to accept the way out offered at an early stage. He and others should be in no doubt as to my and others' resolve. Please share so that this lesson can reach where it needs."

Meanwhile the retraction from the @socialistbangrs account stated: "I have not spoken to Jeff Samuels son and without doing so it becomes irresponsible to state he is a fascist.

"I retract and apologise for this point."

The same apology said Mr Samuels son would not have been behind the decision of the QC to move the family to Israel and added it was "wrong" to treat Mr Samuels son as an "extension of his father " in a social media post.

Ms Samuels later wrote: "While disagreeing strongly with much of the content it does seem to me that this constitutes a real apology for the specific and serious libel."

The @BenJolly9 was suspended from Twitter earlier this week.

But Kerry-Anne Mendoza, the editor of The Canary website who has faced allegations of antisemitism, was amongst those to campaign for it to be allowed back on the platform.

Ms Mendoza has subsequently been suspended from Twitter herself.

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