Help Mike Sivier's libel appeal against Rachel Riley

by Mike Sivier

Help Mike Sivier's libel appeal against Rachel Riley

by Mike Sivier
Mike Sivier
Case Owner
I am a news reporter with more than 28 years' experience who currently runs the influential Vox Political website. I am also a full-time carer for my disabled partner.
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Mike Sivier
Case Owner
I am a news reporter with more than 28 years' experience who currently runs the influential Vox Political website. I am also a full-time carer for my disabled partner.
Pledge now

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Latest: Jan. 24, 2023

Ambitious strategy that could win for Mike in Rachel Riley libel appeal

My legal team has agreed to a strategy I put forward for the special hearing on permission to appeal against the Rachel Riley libel judgment against me.

It's ambitious - by which I mean there may …

Read more

Most people who know of Rachel Riley as a minor television personalitiy, known for Countdown.

But I know her as a woman who sued me for libel after I wrote an article highlighting an incident between her and a teenage girl with mental health problems.

Who am I?

My name is Mike Sivier. I am a news reporter of 25 years' experience, currently running a political news and opinion website after giving up my day job to become a full-time carer for my disabled partner.

I am probably best-known for exposing the thousands of unexplained deaths of people who claimed sickness benefits but were denied them after taking the Conservative government's punitive work capability assessment.

More recently I have met criticism over my interest in the misuse of accusations of anti-Semitism for political purposes. My research and articles on this matter attracted libellous articles about me in the national newspapers in early 2018.

I took all of the newspapers involved to the press regulator IPSO, and all have been forced to publish articles correcting their false claims.

What happened?

After I wrote an article about Ms Riley and a teenage girl, she sued me for libel - and a judge ruled in her favour on November 16, 2022.

I do not think the judgment is safe and I am now fundraising to take the matter to the Court of Appeal.

Why is this important?

This case has serious implications for the online safety of children and young people, as the verdict suggests to me that UK judges do not understand how youngsters may be affected by the way other people treat them on platforms such as Twitter.

How much am I trying to raise?

At the time of writing, I have already raised more than £235,000 to cover legal fees for this case. An appeal will cost thousands of pounds more. I am hoping to raise enough to cover the costs of retaining my solicitor and barrister who can take this case to court and put a stop to what I consider a serious injustice.

We believe we have a very strong case but we need to be able to take it to court and have it heard.

Otherwise, this case will be a victory of wealth over justice.


Image Caption:

Mike Sivier has been the victim of false accusations before - in 2018 he was accused of anti-Semitism by newspapers including The Sunday Times and it took him nearly a year to secure corrections from them. A High Court judge has found against Mike in this case, but he believes the judgment is unsafe and is fundraising to appeal against it.

Update 14

Mike Sivier

Jan. 24, 2023

Ambitious strategy that could win for Mike in Rachel Riley libel appeal

My legal team has agreed to a strategy I put forward for the special hearing on permission to appeal against the Rachel Riley libel judgment against me.

It's ambitious - by which I mean there may be a risk of time-wasting attempts by the other side - but I thought it was worthwhile and I'm glad my representatives agreed.

I can't tell you what it is. I see no reason in giving my opponents any extra time to work it out and try to find a defence (yes, they would be on the defensive) against it.

But I think it strengthens my case enormously.

We'll find out in a week's time when the hearing takes place. Be excited!

If you can also be generous, I and my team would be extremely grateful. We need funds to pay for all this work, so please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

The hearing will be on January 31, remember, and it will be broadcast from the judiciary website - https://www.judiciary.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/going-to-court/court-of-appeal-home/the-court-of-appeal-civil-division-live-streaming-of-court-hearings/ - and available on YouTube.

I hope you'll be able to watch it - and that we'll all like the outcome.

Update 13

Mike Sivier

Jan. 18, 2023

Mike submits extra information in appeal against Rachel Riley. ls it enough?

We had to extend the deadline for this but we got there in the end.

As part of its order for a special hearing on whether I should have permission to appeal against the judgment on Rachel Riley's libel case, the Court of Appeal called for me to supplement my written submissions with further documentary evidence.

That material was presented to the court yesterday (January 17) - and I'm very excited about it.

I reckon I'm putting forward a strong case that the judgment against me was unsafe, because it ignored so many aspects of the evidence and the judge came up with ideas of her own, rather than making decisions on what was put before her.

Ms Riley's legal team have until 4pm tomorrow to provide additional information of their own. I'm fascinated to see what they're going to produce. It will need to be better than "the judgment went against Mike so that's all" - because my entire argument is that the judgment was faulty.

Sadly, none of this will mean much if I can't pay my own lawyers. It is a strong argument but I'm still (currently) thousands of pounds short of funding this hearing. My people are doing great work and I really want to be able to pay them for it!

I know times are hard but there are vital points of justice here, involving the protection of vulnerable youngsters online - and that's quite a topical issue at the moment.

So please, if you can, do one or more of the following:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

The special hearing is on January 31 and will be broadcast via the Judiciary website: https://www.judiciary.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/going-to-court/court-of-appeal-home/the-court-of-appeal-civil-division-live-streaming-of-court-hearings/. It will subsequently be available there and on YouTube.

I'll update you on the response from Ms Riley after I've had a chance to look at it.

Update 12

Mike Sivier

Jan. 13, 2023

Rachel Riley libel appeal to be live-streamed online - here are the details

The Court of Appeal is to live-stream video of the special hearing on whether I should have permission to appeal against the judgment in Rachel Riley's libel case against me.

The hearing will take place on January 31 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. I won't know when or in which court until the day before it happens.

The decision to live-stream the appeal is a courageous one for the court, because it means the proceedings will be available for everyone with an interest in the case to view - both live and afterwards.

That means if the court makes a decision that people think is at odds with the evidence, not only will many people kick up a fuss, but their reasons for doing so will be available for everybody to see.

Sadly that is not an advantage for either side; public opinion could run against me as easily as it could against Ms Riley.

I applaud the decision because it means everybody who has been funding my defence will be able to see what their cash has been buying.

When my appeal against the strike-out of my defences was live-streamed in 2021, the live-stream was seen by more than 3,000 people - an enormous figure when compared with the 100 or so who watched the proceedings immediately before and after.

I hope more people will watch the events of the crucial hearing on January 31.

You can do this by accessing the judiciary’s website here: https://www.judiciary.uk/you-and-the-judiciary/going-to-court/court-of-appeal-home/the-court-of-appeal-civil-division-live-streaming-of-court-hearings/

I still need funds to pay for the hearing. To support this vital bid for justice, please do one or more of the following:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

I would certainly urge everybody reading this to watch the live-stream - or view the video as soon as you can afterwards.

The hearing will only last an hour and a half, and many of the discussion may be technical - but you should be able to understand my arguments and why I think it is important to make them.

Update 11

Mike Sivier

Jan. 10, 2023

Date set for special hearing on Mike's appeal against Rachel Riley's libel win

A special hearing on whether I should have permission to appeal against the judgment in Rachel Riley's libel hearing against me will take place on January 31.

I don't yet know what time it will happen or in which court. That information will not be available until January 31.

It is possible that the Court of Appeal will screen the hearing on YouTube again - as it did with my appeal against the strike-out of my defences, back in 2021. That event attracted thousands of viewers, in comparison with only a few hundred for others.

It means there are 21 days left to raise funds to support my argument.

I wrote last week that I had been told I need to raise around £15,000 to fund the hearing. Since then, more than £1,500 has been donated - more than one-tenth of the total.

That's a fantastic start, post-Christmas in a year when the UK is going into recession and everybody is facing huge pressures on their finances.

But obviously it isn't full funding so please continue to give as much as you can - and encourage as many other people as possible to do the same. Here's how:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

I am also interested in seeking alternative routes for funding. If you have any suggestions, please send them to me via the Comments section of Vox Political - https://voxpoliticalonline.com 

I moderate all comments so your suggestion won't automatically appear online; it's simply the easiest way to get ideas to me.

There is a real chance, here, to claw justice back from a bad decision. Please don't let it slip away.

Update 10

Mike Sivier

Jan. 6, 2023

Race is on to fund special hearing on Mike's appeal against Riley libel judgment

Once again we discover that justice isn't cheap, in a land where it should be free.

My legal team has advised me that I need to raise around £15,000 to fund the special hearing on whether I should have permission to appeal against the judgment in Rachel Riley's libel case.

The hearing will happen at the end of January or beginning of February, so the timescale is tight - but still possible.

Several times in the last four years, the CrowdJustice fund has jumped by up to £7,000 in a single day; it made £5,000 on the day it was launched.

But that was before the government managed to mess up everybody's finances by trashing the economy. If donations come in as fast now, I will be extremely pleasantly surprised.

The reason for the high price tag seems to be associated with the fact that Rachel Riley was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours list, for services the BBC linked to winning her case against me.

A possible reason for this making our case harder to prove is provided in this video:

The gist is that the so-called Establishment will try to protect Ms Riley, now that she has received this.

But won't it be interesting to see what happens if she loses at the hearing, and if she loses at the appeal?

I would like to see that, and I hope you would too.

So please, now and whenever you have a chance:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

This has become more than just a piece of civil justice.

It is now about questioning a system that offers protection to people who may not deserve it.

Update 9

Mike Sivier

Jan. 3, 2023

Special hearing on Rachel Riley libel appeal likely at the end of January

The Court of Appeal has suggested that the special hearing on whether to grant permission for my appeal against Rachel Riley's libel win will be held on either January 25, January 31 or February 1.

This is actually a little later than I had been led to believe, and I hope it means that I and my team will be better-prepared than we might otherwise have been, when we finally get to face the judge.

It also provides more time to raise funds to pay for the hearing. The announcement that Ms Riley has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list has attracted a flurry of donations but more is needed.

Please, even if you have already donated, continue to provide as much as you can spare, or help in the other ways listed below:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

Update 8

Mike Sivier

Dec. 27, 2022

MAJOR development in Rachel Riley libel appeal

The Court of Appeal has ordered a special hearing of my application for permission to appeal against the judgment in Rachel Riley's libel case against me.

This is highly unusual. Practically unheard-of, in fact.

The decision was made by Lord Justice Warby, who has some knowledge of the case, having been a member of the panel that granted my appeal against Ms Riley's application to strike out all my defences last year.

He has said that the case attracted considerable publicity at the time of the trial in July, and it is desirable for the decision on PTA to be open and transparent, whichever way it goes.

If he had thought that the appeal was plainly weak, he was perfectly entitled to reject it on the papers and draw the appeal to an immediate conclusion. The fact that he has listed a hearing suggests that he thinks there is something in my appeal that is worth consideration.

That might particularly be the case where he dealt with the previous appeal so understands the background well enough to reasonably make a decision on the papers. 

If so, I appreciate that it will come as a terrible shock to the pro-Riley trolls on the social media, who have spent more than a month trying to convince my supporters that there is no point in continuing to fund me. Clearly - at least for the time being - they have been shown to have been misleading their readers.

On the other hand, the Appeal Court judge might have largely made up his mind but wants a public hearing so that neither I nor Ms Riley can later complain that the appeal was decided without either of us being heard.

I'm not inclined to believe this because it would not seem to be a good use of court resources to order a highly-unusual hearing, merely to make refusal to grant the appeal more emphatic.

The judge has provided guidance on what he wants my representative (and Ms Riley's) to discuss and I am talking with my legal team about our response. It means I have spent Christmas going through the judgment and the evidence to identify the best information to use.

But all of this will be pointless if I can't afford to fund my defence!

I think I have raised enough to pay my Counsel for the excellent appeal documents that he wrote, and that were filed with the court on December 7.That still leaves my solicitors to pay, and then funds must be raised for the work that is now being done, and for the hearing, which will be in mid-January and will last just one and a half hours.

It is vital that this hearing is funded. I know it is happening very soon after my last fundraising drive - and with the Christmas holidays taking place around us, and the timing is certainly unfortunate.

But this is about justice.

We won't see it if we don't do everything we can to get it.

So, please: 

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

My appeal has turned a High Court loss into a fighting chance to win - but I can't do it without you. Please help in any way that you can.


Update 7

Mike Sivier

Dec. 17, 2022

Rachel Riley responds to my libel appeal - but she doesn't have much to say

Remember my last update, when I stated that my appeal against Rachel Riley's libel victory had been submitted and she had until December 21 to provide a short, written response?

She has - but there is nothing remarkable in it.

Her core argument is that the original judgment is so comprehensively against me that, even if parts of the appeal could succeed, the overall outcome would be the same so allowing the appeal to proceed would not be a good use of court time.

Basically, she's saying even if the judge is found to have been wrong, we should not dare to suggest that this means her judgment may be mistaken. Can you see the problem with that?

I and my legal team did our best to head off these arguments in the papers we filed on December 7.

Basically, if we manage to succeed on parts of the appeal, it would undermine the evidence base for the rest of the judgment.

And the appeal identifies major errors, made by the judge, that undermine her judgment.

The next part of the case, according to the government's Justice website, is apparently for my solicitors to send bundles and/or documents to the court, in support of the appeal.

I have a feeling that those bundles/documents should answer the points made by Ms Riley in opposing my appeal.

But of course, solicitors need to be paid for the high-quality work they do. So, please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page, and keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

This is a risky business. The courts seem fundamentally opposed to the reasoning that encouraged me to write an article about Ms Riley in the first place.

But it was the Court of Appeal that gave me the chance to present my case - and said that, if correctly argued, I should be able to win.

Given the opportunity to consider my evidence, I'm optimistic that I may secure another decision in my favour. Please help me get that chance.

Update 6

Mike Sivier

Dec. 12, 2022

Riley v Sivier libel appeal: the next steps

It may be some time before we hear from the Court of Appeal on whether my appeal will be allowed to proceed or not.

The relevant documents were submitted in advance of last Wednesday's deadline and have been accepted by the court.

Rachel Riley now has until December 21 to serve a three-page paper explaining why she thinks the appeal should not be permitted - if she wants to. This is an optional document but one the Court of Appeal encourages respondents to file.

I will greet the arrival of any such information with great interest.

After that, I'm told not to expect a decision in 2022. The court term is practically over and an appeal submitted in December is hardly going to be first in line for consideration. Hopefully we'll get a response after the new term begins in January.

Will the appeal be allowed?

Good question.

The Court of Appeal may permit appeals to proceed when the appeal has some real prospect of success or where there is some other compelling reason for the appeal to be heard.

“May” is the important word, because the court has discretion not to permit an appeal to proceed, even if it meets either of the two criteria - for example, if a judge decides it would not be a good use of the court's resources.

With my appeal, I have tried to emphasise concerns about the way the law was applied and to flag up the need to clarify it in the future. Did the judge really give regard to "all the circumstances of the case" where factual information that might be expected to have a bearing on the judgment seems to have been ignored?

We also question the judge's decision on the application of my editorial judgement.

If an appeal is granted on either or both of these bases, then we can have a hearing in the Court of Appeal that may change the overall outcome of this case.

So there is still a vital need for funding. I need to finish paying for the cost of my Counsel drafting the appeal, and I fear Ms Riley's legal team are likely to try to throw as many spanners into the works as they possibly can. Responding to them costs money - and we all know how much they enjoy depleting my resources.

If you've been following the case this far - and I'm fairly sure you have - then you'll know what comes next. I'll state it anyway. Please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

You may see comments from trolls on Twitter and other social media, who support Ms Riley and are attaching themselves to this case in order to discourage you from helping me. They will try to mislead you. Do not pay them any attention.

In fact, their nonsense postings have helped me out - but I'll give you more on that in another update.

Update 5

Mike Sivier

Dec. 4, 2022

Riley libel appeal: attack of the trolls

While we wait for my Counsel to finish writing the grounds and skeleton argument for my appeal against the High Court judgment against me, let's talk about the strange behaviour of some characters on the social media.

Be warned that some of what follows contains language you may find shocking.

I have to admit, I haven't been paying much attention to what people have been tweeting in response to my articles about the judgment and my plans for an appeal, so the following came as quite a jolt, when I received it from a friend on November 30:

For those of you who may not be able to read the words in an image file, it contains a tweet from somebody who stated, on the day the judgment against me was published, "May I be the first to say, tough shit Siver, you snivelling little turd. And to all those mugs who donated towards the £233,830 fundraiser he siphoned from you gullible fools, tough shit to you all too. Have a really shitty day." This was followed with six "thumbs-up" emojis.

Below it was a message from Twitter stating: "VIOLATION FOUND. We looked @[this person's] account for breaking our abusive behavior rule. We found they broke ourabusive behavior rule through different reports we received about their behavior. They can't Tweet, Retweet, or Like content, and we'll ask them to remove the reported content if they want to regain full access to their account. Your safety is important to us." And so on.

I understand there was quite a flurry of tweets similar to this in response to the judgment - and there have been a few saying similar or worse things after I announced my intention to appeal and started raising funds for it.

So, after I published my most recent update, "Appeal against Rachel Riley libel judgment set to be filed next week", I decided to pay attention to the responses it received. I was ill (my fifth cold since the start of September) and had little better to do. And I didn't have to wait long.

"Rejection of appeal to be reached the day after, still good grift, well played," tweeted an anonymous Twitter user, seven minutes later. This person provided no name or identifying image, was following just 69 people and had only eight followers, and had joined Twitter that month.

Notice the use of the word "grift", echoing Rachel Riley's assertion that I am a "grifter", which is defined as "a person who engages in petty or smale-scale swindling". There is no truth in such an allegation, of course - so you can draw your own conclusions about this person's reason for being anonymous.

It's classic "troll" behaviour, of course - leaving an insulting or offensive message in order to upset someone, get attention or cause trouble.

I decided to engage this person in conversation: "Why are you trying to tell me what I do? It can only be because you are trying to fool other readers into believing your nasty little story."

The response indicates a willingness to twist words to create a false impression: "I've ... not told you what to do, simp." A "simp" is defined as a "silly or foolish person" and the use of that word is further demonstration that this person is a troll - the use of insults being intended to provoke an emotional, and possibly foolish, reaction.

The conversation continued, with me pointing out: "You have a vested interest in broadcasting untruths. Are you being paid for this? If so, by whom?"

This seemed to incense the troll who had launched an attack purely to get an emotional reaction from me: "Ooooh, are you intimating there's a CONSPIRACY, Mikey?"

"Not at all. Asking if an anonymous troll is being paid to cast shade on a fundraiser for justice seems perfectly reasonable," I replied.

Funny how these trolls hate being called out on the reasons for their deliberately-offensive behaviour. It is a reasonable question: why else would a complete stranger join Twitter anonymously to attack an attempt to secure justice? What does such a person have to hide?

You see, they can't claim they need to be anonymous for their own protection because it is they who are deliberately trying to cause provocation; to upset me and to put people off contributing to the fund supporting my appeal.

So, why hide behind a fake name? There has to be a reason. Am I right?

There's really only one way to combat behaviour like this - and that is to win the case. And the only way to do that is by having enough funding to pay for an appeal. That is, after all, the only reason these trolls are attacking me - to discourage you.

So, please help me foil them by doing any or several of the following:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

Tomorrow I expect to see details of the appeal that my Counsel is writing, based on my own observations of the judgment and his expertise in law. No doubt its arrival will spur the trolls to new depths of absurdity.

Let's give them a reason to think twice before they lower themselves further.

Update 4

Mike Sivier

Dec. 2, 2022

Appeal against Rachel Riley libel judgment set to be filed next week

Here's some good news: the appeal against the High Court's surprising judgment in favour of Rachel Riley in her libel case against me is set to be filed next week.

The flipside of that is, it will cost around £7,200 and the CrowdJustice fund currently has only about half of that amount. My solicitors reckon their costs will be similar. So we're about a quarter of the way to our current goal.

This may seem a dishearteningly low amount but it isn't.

All my legal advisers are committed to the case. They believe in it, and they are keen to do their best to turn it around.

All they need are the financial means to do it.

I would love to be able to provide some more examples of the way the judgment disregards and disrespects the facts of the case - but I am restrained by an injunction the judge imposed.

Having examined the judgment very carefully, though, it does seem clear that the judge has disregarded facts that should have been considered indisputable, in contravention of the demands of the Defamation Act 2013.

I look forward to seeing this explored in an appeal hearing - and that can only happen with your help. Please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

I am aware that certain people on the social media are still attacking my fundraising events. One recently had their Twitter account frozen, due to the offensive way they attacked both my and you, my funders. I expect more such penalties will be imposed soon.

The only reason they are doing this is fear. They know the judgment is a dud and they know the only way of stopping it from being exposed is to prevent an appeal from happening.

You are the only ones who can foil them.

I'm sure you won't let me down.

Update 3

Mike Sivier

Nov. 30, 2022

Will you support Mike's libel appeal against Rachel Riley on this fact alone?

There seems to be a certain amount of pushback on the social media, against my plan to appeal the judgment on Rachel Riley's libel case against me.

People presenting themselves as legal experts are trying to put potential contributors to the CrowdJustice fund off helping out, relying on their own claims of expertise to cast doubt on my chances of success.

The problem with that is, these are people who have only read the judgment and have no knowledge of what my defence was. Therefore they have no understanding of how inaccurate the judgment was.

So today I thought I'd provide just one example of why this judgment was wrong and needs to be contested:

At one point, the judge claimed that my defence failed because I did not contact Ms Riley for comment before publishing my article - on three details that weren't even mentioned in it.

Obviously there was no need to do any such thing. I can't be responsible for libelling anyone on the basis of words that I did not publish. That's the law and the judge in this case has ignored the law.

And that is just one error among many in the judgment on my case.

The injustice is absolutely staggering. If you are as outraged by it as I am - and as many right-thinking people already have been - please help me fight it.

I have a few thousand pounds left in the fund after the trial and the fundraising over the last week or so, but drafting appeal documents costs a considerable amount in itself, let alone actually going to an appeal hearing.

So please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

I question the motives of the people who are criticising me on Twitter (and presumably elsewhere) for continuing to seek justice.

They seem to be supporters of Riley, and it seems clear that they fear what may happen if an appeal is submitted to the courts.

Once again, we face the possibility that an injustice will be inflicted on me, simply because I am not as rich as my opponent.

Update 2

Mike Sivier

Nov. 23, 2022

Should I sue Rachel Riley for her libel against me last week?

I'm seriously considering what's called a 'Letter Before Action' over this:


As I stated in my previous update, the numbers expert from Channel 4’s Countdown has got her numbers wrong. The offer was £1,000 to a children’s charity and £5,000 to cover her own legal costs (not court fees as she states here). Court fees were not mentioned in her solicitor’s letter of January 5 this year.

Secondly, that letter laid great stress on the point that the offer was confidential. As Riley has referred to the offer, I see no problem with quoting from the letter: “We wish to make it clear that this offer is made on a confidential basis. If your client chooses to  breach  that  confidence  then  the  offer  is  automatically  withdrawn.  That  should  not  be  construed as permission to breach confidence. We reserve the right to take action against any parties who choose to act in breach of confidence.”

The letter was also marked “without prejudice save as to costs” and so it would have been wrong for me to have referred to it in an open forum prior to judgment.

I don't see why she should get away with this. Her tweet creates a false appearance that I was fundraising for my case dishonestly. I'll try to fund the first shot in this matter myself and let you know how it goes.

The simple fact is that I believed I was right to defend myself in court against her.

I still do.

The judgment against me is a travesty. It seems clear that the judge has not correctly applied the Defamation Act 2013, which required her to have regard for all the circumstances of the case, rather than cherry-pick a few inconsequential details and ignore the rest.

If I were to be charitable, I might say it seems that she simply did not understand what happened in the events the trial discussed.

I have sent my thoughts on an appeal to my legal team and am awaiting their comments.

In the meantime, I must thank you all for your fantastic response to last week's judgment and what I had to say about it. The CrowdJustice fund is nearly £2,000 richer because of it.

An appeal will cost much more than that, though.

We've been here before and know how much it will be. Not as much as the trial (thankfully), but still £20,000 or more. I'm awaiting a comment from my legals on the actual figures.

I reckon we can make it, though.

So, please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

The judgment was a terrible shock but I always said the case was likely to go to appeal, one way or another.

Let's make sure that can happen.

Update 1

Mike Sivier

Nov. 19, 2022

The Riley libel case isn't over until I say it is

If you were dismayed to read that a High Court judge has handed down a verdict in favour of Rachel Riley, in her libel case against me, don't be.

You'll recall that I was defending my article about her as publication on a matter of public interest. For that to succeed, I had to prove that it was indeed on such a matter, that I honestly believed it to be on such a matter, and that my belief was reasonable.

The judge agreed that the first two conditions were met, but said the last condition was not.

Her reasons for saying this are not, in my opinion, rational.

So I'm likely to file an appeal before the December 7 deadline, on a point of law - that she failed to meet the requirements of the Defamation Act 2013 in forming her conclusions.

I cannot do this without funding, though.

My defence has always been a group effort. I would not have been able to get as far as I did without your help and, without it, I will not be able to go any further.

I notice some of you have already donated more money into the CrowdJustice fund and I am grateful - all the more so because we all have so much less disposable cash now, thanks to the blunders of our political so-called leaders.

So, once again, I have to ask, please:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don't forget that if you're having trouble, or simply don't like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it's for the crowdfund!

To give you just one reason why it is vital to make it as hard as possible for people like Riley to win, I notice that she has mentioned on Twitter a settlement offer she made some time ago:

There are a few problems with this:

Firstly, the numbers expert from Channel 4's Countdown has got her numbers wrong. The offer was £1,000 to a children's charity and £5,000 to cover her own legal costs (not court fees as she states here). Court fees were not mentioned in her solicitor's letter of January 5 this year.

Secondly, that letter laid great stress on the point that the offer was confidential. As Riley has referred to the offer, I see no problem with quoting from the letter: "We wish to make it clear that this offer is made on a confidential basis. If your client chooses to  breach  that  confidence  then  the  offer  is  automatically  withdrawn.  That  should  not  be  construed as permission to breach confidence. We reserve the right to take action against any parties who choose to act in breach of confidence."

The letter was also marked "without prejudice save as to costs" and so it would have been wrong for me to have referred to it in an open forum prior to judgment.

I invite you to draw your own conclusions about the honesty of Rachel Riley, in the light of these facts.

I would certainly hope that they provide encouragement to donate to the CrowdJustice fund once again.

I may have said this before, and if I did, let me assure you I mean it just as much now as I did then: Let's make it all worthwhile.

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