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Case documents from the Migration Watch vs Bercow libel case

with 5 comments

For my details on this, see my previous post

Migration Watch vs Bercow libel case documents

These documents consist of:

pp1-2 A letter from the Migration Watch solicitors, Geoffrey Leaver, to Sally Bercow

p3 A transcript of the television programme in which Sally Bercow made comments which Migration Watch claims are defamatory.

p4 A draft apology to Andrew Green written by the Migration Watch solicitors and included in their initial letter, with the expectation that Sally Bercow would “send an apology to Sir Andrew in the terms attached”.

It’s important to note that even though this letter was written by the claimant’s solicitors in Sally Bercow’s name, she neither approved it nor signed it.

pp5-8 A response to the Migration Watch solicitors from Sally Bercow’s lawyers, Preiskel & Co.

Written by Richard Wilson

October 1, 2010 at 6:45 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Interestingly the Express articles says: “Last night think-tank Migrationwatch UK said its findings clearly pointed to a link between migration and youth joblessness that could no longer be ignored or brushed aside.” (

    The phrasing “a link between migration and youth joblessness” clearly implies causality rather than correlation. The term “rob” in the article title implies the Express bought that interpretation.

    The cited original article by Migrationwatch UK also stated (in bold and italics, no less) “Interpretation of the slope coefficient suggests that for every 1000 net migrants into a London Borough the numbers of young unemployed rises on average by around 200.” Later, it was even stronger: “Interpretation of the slope coefficient suggests that for every 1000 net
    migrants into a London Borough the numbers of young unemployed rises on average by
    around 200.” (

    Again, this strongly implies causality.

    To now say they meant to claim correlation not causality just sounds hollow. Even if they say this, to interpret their article in this way is wholly reasonable.

    Stuart Watt

    October 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm

  2. […] people ought surely be able to slag off ‘think-tanks’ without getting sued for slander. If you’re in the business of promulgating controversial […]

  3. It’s depressing but not surprising to see that shaky statistical conclusions are not just made on the left (“The Spirit Level”) but also by the right (oops, sorry, is that defamatory?).

    On the case documents, Preiskel & Co’s letter is fantastic! I think I detect the pen of David Allen Green here🙂 It helps that Migration Watch’s letter was decidedly poorly argued (not least in accusing her of defaming a person she didn’t mention!).

    Niklas Smith

    October 10, 2010 at 1:50 pm

  4. […] UK: “Migration Watch” may sue critic [David Allen Green via Richard Wilson, more] […]

    October 14 roundup

    October 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

  5. […] The first post provides us with background to the Sally Bercow/Migration Watch case, the second a quite invaluable .pdf file with the raw data we need to make up our own […]

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