Sunday Times to take Peter Cruddas cash-for-access libel fight to Appeal Court

The Sunday Times has said that it plans to take its libel fight with former Conservative Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas to the Court of Appeal.

Last week Cruddas was awarded £180,000 in damages against The Sunday Times over articles based on covert recordings made during an undercover sting.

The articles were published in March 2012 and were held by Mr Justice Tugendhat to mean that Cruddas corruptly offered for sale the opportunity to influence government policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with ministers.

The articles were also said to give the wrong and defamatory impression that Cruddas had made the offer knowing that the money was to come from abroad, in breach of UK electoral law, and that, in order to circumvent and evade the law, he was happy that the foreign donors should use deceptive devices to conceal the true source of the donation.

The judge also found that the journalists were malicious in publishing the articles.

A News UK spokesman said: “The Sunday Times is dismayed to have lost this case. This was an investigation into a matter of considerable public interest and the newspaper believed that use of undercover methods was justified.

"The Insight team conducted the investigation with integrity and with the supervision and full backing of the senior editorial team and the advice of the newspaper's lawyers. The Sunday Times and its journalists intend to appeal the judgement of Mr Justice Tugendhat."

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