Cherie Blair has launched a legal battle for damages of up to £50,000 over a Mail on Sunday story claiming she made unreasonable demands for police protection.
The wife of the former prime minister is suing publishers Associated Newspapers over a story, which she claims is defamatory, that appeared in October headlined “Cherie keeps her £500k gun police”.
According to a writ filed at the High Court, the story claimed Blair made “wholly unreasonable demands” to the Diplomatic Protection Group for police protection.
The story claimed that Blair’s demands came despite the fact that protection would cost the taxpayer £500,000 and her family were often away from home.
According to the writ, Blair said this portrayed her as acting in a “shamelessly self-important manner”.
Through her solicitors Atkins Thomson, Blair is seeking aggravated damages, citing the serious and offensive nature of the claims, and also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations.
She claims the story substantially injured her reputation, and caused her considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.
In addition, she says claims the paper refused to give her a full and unequivocal apology, despite a complaint and a spokesman denying the allegations in advance.