A senior member of the shadow cabinet has won £30,000 in libel damages in a High Court action against The Sun over claims that a heavy metal band he performed with used Nazi imagery.
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon claimed an April 2017 article which said he had joined a Leeds band that “delights in Nazi symbols” was “highly defamatory, false and unfair”.
The Labour MP said an image tweeted by the band Dream Troll, which appeared to use the lightning bolt “S” from the logo of notorious Nazi paramilitary organisation the SS, was a “spoof” of Black Sabbath’s 1975 album We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Delighted to have won my High Court case against The Sun.
Their slur attempting to link me to “Nazi symbols" was held to be false and defamatory.
The Judge ordered The Sun to pay £30,000 in damages.
With that I'll fund a paid justice internship for a young person from Leeds. pic.twitter.com/uWlsdhSUoR
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) February 6, 2019
The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and political editor Tom Newton Dunn argued that the image was “strongly reminiscent of Nazi iconography” and Mr Burgon “demonstrated terrible misjudgment and exposed himself to ridicule”.
Giving judgment at the High Court in London on Wednesday, Mr Justice Dingemans announced that he had ruled in favour of Mr Burgon and awarded him £30,000.