University tutor begins libel action against Daily Mail and Evening Standard
Luke Cooper, a university tutor has begun a libel action against the Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard claiming that the papers portrayed him as a protest ringleader during the violent anti-cut protests in 2010. The case is due to be the first libel trial to be heard before a jury at the High Court in three years and is also expected to be one of the last.
Mr Cooper was one of the protesters during the anti-cuts protests in London in 2010. The protests turned violent and the Conservative party headquarters were stormed by demonstrators. The Evening Standard reported on the protest and pictured Mr Cooper on the front page as an alleged “ringleader” of the attack on the Conservative party headquarters. A similar article was run by the Daily Mail the following day. Mr Cooper claims that he was grossly libelled by both articles and denies having any involvement in the attack.
It is believed that the case could rest on the evidence given by Benedict Moore-Bridger, an Evening Standard journalist, who interviewed Mr Cooper at the protest and quoted that Mr Cooper had admitted planning and orchestrating the attacks. This is strongly denied by Mr Cooper and he denies ever saying this to the Evening Standard reporter.
Speaking to the High Court William McCormick who is representing Mr Cooper said: “We say that these articles mean quite clearly that Mr Cooper was a ringleader … Mr Cooper says this is simply not true. He had no part in the planning of that event therefore they [the Daily Mail and Evening Standard] have grossly libelled him.”
The trial continues.