Help Mike Sivier fight libel claim by Rachel Riley & Tracy-Ann Oberman

by Mike Sivier

Help Mike Sivier fight libel claim by Rachel Riley & Tracy-Ann Oberman

by Mike Sivier
Mike Sivier
Case Owner
I am a news reporter with more than 25 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 25 years' experience who currently runs the influential Vox Political website. I am also a full-time carer for my disabled partner.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: May 18, 2019

Are supporters of my accusers invading my privacy to threaten me?

Here's a strange thing. I've started receiving emails from someone claiming to have infected my computer with a virus.

That's all I know as I found them in my junk mailbox and didn't...

Read more

Most people who know of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman will consider them to be minor television personalities, known for Countdown and EastEnders respectively.

But I know them as a pair of Twitter bullies who harassed and intimidated a teenage girl who suffers extreme anxiety.

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?

When I wrote an article about their Ms Riley and Ms Oberman's bullying of a teenage girl, they threatened to sue me for libel, claiming that they did not behave in the ways I stated and that I had caused serious damage to their reputations.

You can read my article here. Another piece with further information can be found here. As you can see, both pieces are based on actions that are directly attributable to these people.

My piece on the intimidation of the teenager provoked a huge attempt at bullying on Twitter - known as a "dogpile". You can read my report about it here.

Why is this important?

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that Ms Riley and Ms Oberman justify their behaviour by saying it is part of the fight against anti-Semitism. It is nothing of the sort.

It is vital that this cynical manipulation of the debate on anti-Semitism should be fought. Bullying a school-age young person under the pretence of fighting anti-Semitism may lead to genuine hatred of Jews - on the grounds that they are using their ethnicity to seek unfair advantage over others.

And if they get away with this, who else are they likely to victimise? Already we have seen multiple political attacks on the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, with accusations of anti-Semitism that have been proved false. Ms Riley is a part of that - and you can read more on this element of the story here.

How much am I trying to raise?

These are well-paid, well-resourced TV personalities. They are targeting people like myself, who have little money, with the cynical intention of embroiling us in legal proceedings that will cost more than we can afford, in order to force us into giving up and paying them money they do not deserve.

I have already committed nearly £5,000 in solicitors' fees to this case. It is likely to cost much, much more. I am hoping to raise an initial £5,000 with this appeal, with a "stretch" target of £25,000, to cover the costs of retaining solicitors and a barrister who can take this case to court and put a stop to this nonsense.

At the moment my solicitors are preparing my case and would like to interview witnesses. This alone may cost several thousands of pounds. 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.

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Update 5

Mike Sivier

May 18, 2019

Are supporters of my accusers invading my privacy to threaten me?

Here's a strange thing. I've started receiving emails from someone claiming to have infected my computer with a virus.

That's all I know as I found them in my junk mailbox and didn't open them. I deleted them instead.

Presumably there's a threat to do some kind of harm to my system, or to publish secrets that I don't want people to know, if I don't cough up some cash. There's always a threat of some kind involved in these things.

As I say, I deleted the messages so I don't know what it was. It's my policy, for reasons that should be obvious.

But then I thought: "Why now?"

We know that supporters of the two TV personalities who are alleging libel against me are skilled in tracking down people they want to target.

Those people, their relatives and friends, employers, and the heads of academic institutions where some are studying have been contacted with malicious messages. That fact is one aspect of my case.

I heard tonight that one person lost their job because of the lies these people peddle.

That revelation made me question whether the emails I had received might have been sent by supporters of my opponents, with the intention - at the very least - of knocking me off-balance; re-directing my concentration away from the case.

I wonder if those responsible will take this any further.

I wonder, also, if right-thinking people are prepared to accept that supporters of my opponents are invading the privacy of strangers in order to harm them.

Are you?

If not, I've got a remedy: Support my crowdfunding appeal so I can defend myself against the false claims levelled against me.

I cannot win this case on my own and the amount raised so far - while impressive - isn't enough to see a court case through to its conclusion.

Think of it this way: If you say something these people don't like, you could be next on their list.

And that is not a welcome thought!

If you have already contributed, please don't feel pressured into doing so again unless you genuinely have the spare cash to justify it. If you haven't - and you can - please do.

And please share the web address of the crowdfunding appeal - along with this message. Too few people know about this! We need the world to know what's happening here.

Update 4

Mike Sivier

May 16, 2019

Libel defence appeal is halfway to deadline - and bang on target!

Today I get to send heartfelt thanks to everybody who has donated to my libel defence appeal - nearly 700 of you!

You have raised more than half the "stretch" target of £25,000 - and in half the time allocated by the kind people at CrowdJustice to achieve it.

So we're exactly on course to reach that target!

I am extremely grateful - especially as these funds are already being used.

Crowdjustice has sent slightly more than £8,000 - nearly two-thirds of the total raised so far - to my solicitor, to fund vital work on the case.

Besides paying the cost of corresponding with the solicitor acting for the TV personalities who are accusing me, it will also be used to secure expert advice from a barrister on the merits of my case - and to obtain evidence from witnesses.

But you can see that, even though those of you who donated to the fund have achieved so much, there is a lot left to be done. I am left with slightly less than £5,000 - and it will be extremely difficult to mount an effective defence with only this much, if the case is brought to court.

So, please - if you haven't donated yet, please do. Every contribution, from the largest to the smallest, will help win this case for justice.

If you have donated already, please share information about the appeal on the social media you use, so that people who may not know about the case can come to and (hopefully) make their own contribution.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: This case pits justice against wealth. I have the facts of the case in my favour - but my opponents have money. It seems they are hoping I run out of funds before the facts can be aired in court.

I think that is an abuse of the justice system.

If you agree, please help: 

Update 3

Mike Sivier

May 13, 2019

Mike's libel defence: Don't let the bullies win with lies

I read an iNews article saying Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman "have called out antisemitism" - but that's not all they do, as we know.

They use the cover of "calling out antisemitism" to bully perfectly innocent people, such as myself and the teenage girl at the centre of the libel case I'm fighting.

The mainstream media don't see it that way, because they don't have any verifiable information to prove it.

That is another reason this case is so important.

It provides undeniable evidence of their unacceptable behavioiur.

And it also shows that they were quite happy for their followers to intimidate the people they picked on.

If you have contributed to my appeal, then you may have received a communication via Twitter, Facebook, or even one of the smaller social media platforms, suggesting that I'm a horrible person and you shouldn't have given me any money.

It's how they work - bullying, intimidation, pressure.

And it may be working for them. Donations have certainly tailed off over the last few days.

But I need the money as much as ever. I don't have a large TV company salary to splash around on my defence.

All I have is hard evidence of what these individuals have done. And I want the world to see it - especially mass media publications like iNews.

So, please, make a donation. Even if - especially if - you have been contacted and discouraged from doing so.

Don't let the bullies win because of lies.

And don't let them win because you forgot to tell your friends!

You can do this several ways:

  1. Email five friends who may be sympathetic, and encourage them to donate.
  2. Share the campaign on Facebook:
  3. Tweet the campaign link to your followers.

Supporters of this campaign have done fantastically well so far - but there's still a long way to go and we're a long way from our target.

Together, we can make it.

Update 2

Mike Sivier

May 8, 2019

This is why your donations are so vital to Mike's libel defence

I heard from my solicitor today.

He has been trying to find a barrister we could pay to provide an expert opinion on the defence I'm putting forward against the false accusations of libel that have been made by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman, and has offered me two choices.

One would cost most of the money that has been raised by my crowdfunding appeal so far. The other would require me to raise thousands more than I already have.

And then I may need even more cash to fund these lawyers' fees at court!

It is a wise move to have this advice as it could open up "no win, no fee" funding and/or insurance to protect me against the claimants' costs in the unlikely event that I lose.

This is why it is so important to raise as much cash as is humanly possible.

The case against me is flimsy, but my opponents are celebrities - which means they are extremely well-financed. I am not. We believe they are hoping I run out of money before the case reaches court and their behaviour is scrutinised - minutely - in the glare of the national media spotlight.

Please ask yourself: Do you want these people to have a free rein to perpetuate falsehoods - and to bully people like you into accepting them - because too few people thought it was worth supporting a strong defence against them?

This is a conflict between wealth and justice. It is winnable - but only if the arguments are heard.

Donations to the appeal are approaching another milestone figure - £10,000. And only a few hundred people have donated.

This case could be vital for thousands, but they probably don't even know about it.

Please tell them about it - any way you can. Email everyone in your address book; put it out on your Facebook page - and on any other pages where you think it would be relevant to other users; tweet about it on Twitter; and put it out on the other social media platforms you use.

And please add another donation yourself, if you can manage it.

This is about the people standing up to the privileged. Where do you stand?

Update 1

Mike Sivier

May 6, 2019

Massive support for Mike's libel defence fund!

What a difference a few days can make!

When I started this fundraising campaign, I thought it would be hard to reach even the initial target by the deadline. It was reached - and exceeded - the day after the appeal started.

And now, just six days into this campaign, you have helped raise more than one-third of the "stretch" target of £25,000.

I'm extremely grateful - but the campaign needs more. Let me tell you what I'm doing with the money:

My solicitors are already in contact with the representative of Ms Riley and Ms Oberman and are impressing on all concerned that their case lacks substance.

We also intend to use your money to seek the opinion of a specialist counsel. This will allow me to decide how best to use further funds that you raise to help me defend the facts.

And I will need more. We're still a long way away from the target - but you've made a great start.

Please keep giving if you can - and keep sharing this campaign with friends and contacts who may also wish to donate.

I'll keep you informed of further developments.

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