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Author receives GBP 65,000 following 'spiteful' review

29th July 2011

The Daily Telegraph has been ordered to pay GBP 65,000 in damages to author Sarah Thornton following a 'spiteful' review of her book published in the broadsheet newspaper.

In Lynn Barber's review of Thornton's 2008 book Seven Days in the Art World, the reviewer claimed that Thornton had never interviewed her when researching the book, despite the author listing Ms Barber as an interviewee in it.

She also claimed that Thornton granted interviewees copy approval for their contributions to the book, but a High Court ruling has found Ms Barber's allegations to be false.

At the ruling, Mr Justice Tugendhat said the Daily Telegraph review was not only spiteful, but contained series factual errors, ordering the Telegraph Media Group to pay GBP 50,000 in relation to the libel and GBP 15,000 for malicious falsehood.

Following the ruling, Thornton commented: 'This case, at its heart, is about journalistic integrity. At a time when the ethics of the tabloids are under scrutiny, here is an example of a 'quality' journalist's abuse of power.'

The Daily Telegraph has vowed to appeal the case, claiming it will have 'adverse implications' for freedom of expression.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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