Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy receives damages and public apology in libel case settlement

A Northumberland MP has received a settlement in a libel case involving the owner of a Blyth gambling centre.
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Tony Green, the owner of Jackpot Amusements, has agreed to pay a five figure sum in damages and make a series of public apologies to Ian Levy, the MP for Blyth Valley.

Mr Green shared defamatory statements about the Conservative MP and his use of the parliamentary expenses system on social media and on electronic screens inside and outside his town centre business during the summer of 2022.

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He has now agreed to display an apology to Mr Levy on the same screens and issue a public apology on social media, in addition to the financial settlement covering damages and the MP’s legal costs.

Ian Levy MP secured an apology and damages in the settlement. (Photo: submitted)Ian Levy MP secured an apology and damages in the settlement. (Photo: submitted)
Ian Levy MP secured an apology and damages in the settlement. (Photo: submitted)

In his statement on Facebook, Mr Green said: “I posted a video about Mr Levy and his expenses that made false and defamatory statements about the money he claimed to pay his staff.

“I sincerely apologise to Mr Levy, his family, and his staff for my actions. I have now contributed towards Mr Levy’s legal costs and paid him a sum in lieu of damages.”

The MP said: “I am glad to have settled this matter. The actions of Mr Green have caused great distress to my family, the hard-working staff in my office, and to me.

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“I took this action as a last resort after giving Mr Green numerous opportunities to retract his defamatory statements and apologise.

“He initially failed to engage sensibly with my legal complaint. However, after consulting with a top legal firm in Durham, Mr Green has now agreed to resolve this matter and avoid it proceeding further in the High Court.

Mr Levy added: “As an MP I expect robust challenge from constituents on national political matters and local issues, but I do not expect to be libelled and to have my reputation damaged without justification.

“It is unfortunate that there is a well-documented trend of increasing numbers of similar cases affecting elected officials across the country.

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“I am glad that this is now finally settled, and I remain focused on delivering for my constituents in Blyth Valley.

“I would also like to publicly thank my excellent legal team, James Roochove (Astraea Linskills) and Gervase de Wilde (5RB), for their continued support and perseverance.”