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.
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Latest: Sept. 14, 2020

After Riley goes quiet, her follower starts abuse campaign against Mike

You may have been wondering why there haven't been any updates on the crowdfunding campaign to oppose Rachel Riley's libel accusations. There hasn't been much to say.

After she lost her bi…

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 70

Mike Sivier

Sept. 14, 2020

After Riley goes quiet, her follower starts abuse campaign against Mike

You may have been wondering why there haven't been any updates on the crowdfunding campaign to oppose Rachel Riley's libel accusations. There hasn't been much to say.

After she lost her bid to hold a premature hearing on her application to strike out part of my case (and mine to strike out part of hers), Ms Riley seems to have calmed down for a while.

Partly this may be because she was caught touting for her followers to tip her off about people against whom she could launch more court cases for libel; this would be vexatious litigation which is a big no-no.

I wrote about that on July 27. Curiously, one of Ms Riley's followers - who will remain nameless (why give them publicity?) started a vilification campaign of their own against me - on Twitter, the day before.

You'll be aware that the case centres on Ms Riley's interaction with a teenage girl on Twitter. In August 2019, my new Twitter abuser doxxed her father - revealing his identity and Twitter address (and therefore providing information enabling people to track her down).

This person also described the teenager as a "homely" girl and stated "natural selection will take its course" - which a reasonable person may take as meaning that she will never have children and her line will die out. Some may suggest it implies contemplation of violence against her if this was not the case.

That demonstrates their interest in this - this person is a supporter of Ms Riley who took her side, to the extent of carrying out a breach of another person's privacy - and of Twitter's rules..

So far, I have received 51 tweets from this person. I would have preferred to have none.

They have attacked IPSO's finding in my favour after several national newspapers accused me of anti-Semitism and depicted me as a "loony goon", a "chippy goon", a "'hard' left goon", a "plonker", someone with "no career, future or health to fight for", of "foul qualities", a "liar" and "fantasist", writing a "blog of bile".

There have been other comments of the four-letter kind that I will not repeat here.

This person would not have crossed my path if I hadn't taken issue with Ms Riley.

This person has proved the basis of the claim I made about her - that her behaviour towards another Twitter user has induced her followers to launch their own campaigns of abuse against that other user.

Now who's the goon?

That's a rhetorical question; if my crowdfunding campaign doesn't receive your help, I won't be able to present these arguments in court and my abuser will have the last laugh - so please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

It doesn't matter whether Rachel Riley asked this person to harass me; it hs happening because of her.

Let's show them both the error of these underhand methods.

Update 69

Mike Sivier

Aug. 18, 2020

This will be awkward - IF Riley libel case gets to court

Take a look at this:

I'm not going to comment on the behaviour of the person named as "Tim" in the exchange above, but part of Rachel Riley's case against me is that it wasn't "targeted harassment" when Tracy-Ann Oberman sent 18 tweets to a terrified schoolgirl ... within a single hour.

And those were just some of the dozens of tweets she sent to the same girl over a 24-hour period.

I'm looking forward to seeing them explain their way out of that one.

But it won't happen unless I have the funds to defend myself against the wild claims of Ms Oberman and her friend Ms Riley.

The crowdfunding campaign needs your help so please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Let's expose the hypocrisy.

Update 68

Mike Sivier

July 30, 2020

Riley caught in a contradiction: it seems it IS about money after all

What do you think of this apparent hypocrisy?

Last year, announcing that he had been hired by Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman to prepare lawsuits against people they said had libelled them, lawyer Mark Lewis said:

"This is not about money... They’re not looking to enrich themselves by taking legal action. They’re looking to stop vile lies.” 

You can read him saying it very clearly in The Guardian and also in Metro, The Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Daily Star and other news outlets.

How interesting - because if it isn't about money, the following reason for this week's decision to halt proceedings against Jane Heybroek makes no sense at all:

"Their libel insurers did not see any advantage in pursuing a case over the liability of a retweet that was deleted so quickly and therefore paid a very modest sum. Regrettably the defamatory tweeter lives in South America and has no visible assets.

"'There are bigger fish to fry, in the pursuit of those who choose to maintain a serious libel.'"

[This is from a tweet by Ms Riley that she has since taken down. It referred to another case as well, so I won't reproduce it here. I do have a copy, though.]

First let's put one line straight: the case against Ms Heybroek arose from her decision to retweet a link to an article by Shaun Lawson - as did all the other cases to which Mr Lewis was referring in his 2019 comment. The description of him as "the defamatory tweeter" is false as he has never faced court proceedings.

More important, though, is the fact that Ms Riley has never tried to bring any such proceedings directly against him. Because he "has no visible assets"? That would contradict Mr Lewis's comment that "they’re not looking to enrich themselves... They’re looking to stop vile lies."

If Ms Riley really wanted to stop any "vile lies" she claims are in the article that Ms Heybroek retweeted, then she would have pursued Mr Lawson. She hasn't done so. The only reason for the decision, that I can see, is that it won't result in a cash return.

If it wasn't "about money", then why did she and Tracy-Ann Oberman pursue Ms Heybroek, knowing that she had deleted her tweet and it was not possible to assert that it had influenced anyone?

If it wasn't "about money", then why are RR and TAO not personally paying Ms Heybroek's costs in full?

If it wasn't "about money", then why did RR issue a tweet touting for new cases to bring to court, implying that she would give the proceeds to charities?

If it wasn't "about money", then why is RR pursuing me with vexatious court applications that seem intended to run down the crowdfunded cash that you have generously donated to help me? Like Mr Lawson, I don't have any assets worth mentioning.

And if it is about "looking to stop vile lies" then why is RR trying to run down my funds now, rather than taking her evidence to a full trial? I have made it clear all along that I consider her behaviour to be an attempt to drain me of cash before a judge gets to hear the evidence in the case.

This week's revelations make it clear that Ms Riley herself has contributed very little towards these court cases; her legal team is employed on a "no win, no fee" basis and she has also taken out insurance - it is her insurers who have paid compensation to Ms Heybroek.

So it seems all the risk is being taken by her victims - people like myself whose lack of funds make us highly vulnerable to predatory litigation.

Of course, I may be wrong. What do you think? Please feel free to answer by doing one or several of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

These cases can be "about money" even if the people bringing them don't directly benefit - because they can deprive other people of their own finances.

I've always said that's what seems to be happening here - with the knock-on result that people like myself would be unable to fight the libel assertion and people like Ms Riley would have their way regarding "vile lies" too - without having to prove a thing.

Some of you might consider that to be a misuse of the justice system that should be stopped.

Update 67

Mike Sivier

July 27, 2020

Court date for Mike - but look what Rachel Riley's doing in the meantime

After considerable discussion, the High Court has decided the next hearing in Rachel Riley's libel case against me will happen on November 6.

If you think the only fireworks that week will be the night before - or the night after - you may be surprised.

This will be the hearing on Rachel Riley's bid to strike out all - or part - of my defence, that she was desperate to force into a courtroom before the end of July.

So, what's she planning to do with all the spare time that the court has presented to her?

This:

How interesting.

It could be read as an enticement for her followers to entrap people into making comments about her, so she can burden the court with more libel cases.

The offer to give the proceeds to charity would be the enticement.

I have always claimed that she launched her case against me in the belief that her huge wealth and my own comparative poverty would mean I could not defend myself and she would therefore buy justice. Does that seem the case here?

It looks like grifting - "influencing anybody, anywhere, at anytime, into doing whatever they choose to have them do, that will result in the grifter's personal gain."

And it is also right on the boundary of vexatious litigation - a pattern of behaviour leading to possibly frivolous lawsuits.

A court may consider such behaviour to be an abuse of the judicial process and may choose to impose sanctions against the perpetrator. Repeated instances by a single lawyer or firm can result in disbarment.

Already we have seen what I consider to be vexatious attempts at running down the crowdfunded cash supporters of This Site have provided to help me fend off Ms Riley - the silly "shifting sands" claim last December, that the judge threw out without blinking, was one; my opinion is that the current "strike-out" bid is another.

I hope to monitor this situation; if she or her solicitor starts legal action against more people as a result of this tweet, I want to know about it.

In the meantime, I hope you agree that the courts do not exist to further enrich already-overpaid TV parlour game-players - or the charities they support (and we don't know exactly which charities those might be, either).

If I am successful in defending against her claims, then this might all go away. You are, of course, invited to support me in the usual ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And tell everybody you know what you think about Ms Riley's behaviour - in a non-libellous way, of course.

Update 66

Mike Sivier

July 17, 2020

A small victory as judge postpones Riley's 'strike out' application

Rachel Riley's attempt to drain my funds - by demanding that the High Court holds an early hearing on her libel case against me - has been foiled.

She wanted a court to hear her application to strike out part of my defence before the end of July, which would have hugely strained my entirely-crowdfunded budget for the case.

But I argued that the court must treat us fairly - as detailed in my previous update - and a judge has agreed.

The application will be listed in the next term - between October and December.

This means we now have more than two months to raise the money needed to pay for my defence at that hearing.

Please continue donating to the CrowdJustice site - but bear in mind that there is now considerably less urgency and you should (as always) put your own needs first.

Here are the details as usual:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This small victory shows that the Riley machine can be defeated; she's not having it all her own way.

And don't forget that I'm making an application of my own, to strike out a significant proportion of her case against me.

My only immediate concern, now, is that she will dream up yet another vexatious plan to waste my time and our money.

Update 65

Mike Sivier

July 13, 2020

Haste for hearing on Riley court application - to put financial strain on Mike?

The High Court has suggested that an application by Rachel Riley to strike out part of my defence against her libel claim should be heard before the end of July - despite the fact that this will create a huge strain on my funds.

There is absolutely no urgency for this application to be heard and there is likely to be no shortage of urgent cases that could take priority over this one - and there is no date before the end of July on which both my solicitor and my Counsel will be available.

I understand Ms Riley's solicitor, Mark Lewis, has written to the court with a suggestion that I want to delay in order to crowdfund the cash I need to fund my defence, saying he is concerned that this would establish a precedent that will clog up the administration of justice.

He has suggested that, besides being deprived of time to raise funds for my defence, I should also produce the extra cash that would be needed to obtain and instruct alternative Counsel.

We should all be concerned if this argument has swayed the court, because it is unjust.

Firstly, my reason for wanting to delay the hearing is that my Counsel is not available - not because I need to crowdfund. Courts are obliged to make efforts to accommodate Counsel, especially in a case in which the court would benefit from hearing from the Counsel who wrote my defence.

Secondly - yes, forcing me to change Counsel, to meet a July hearing date, will almost certainly put my defence fund in debt. Allowing the case to be heard later in the year will almost certainly not do so.

While the strain on my finances may not burden Mr Lewis, the court is required to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost to ensure that the parties are on an equal footing. This means that the court must take account of the financial position of each party.

Let's have a look at Ms Riley's financial position in relation to mine: she is a very highly paid television celebrity who is able to afford both leading and junior counsel, while I am a full-time carer and am, yes, reliant on crowdfunding to finance my defence.

Speeding up this hearing deprives me of the ability to afford representation against a very well-resourced opponent. It is hard to see how the court can say this is just and proportionate treatment.

Finally, Ms Riley has put forward no reason to suggest that her case will be prejudiced if the hearing is not listed later; it will make no difference to her at all.

My own representatives have made these points to the court and we are awaiting a response.

But it seems clear that Ms Riley is once again trying to win her case by using my poverty against me. I think this is utterly despicable behaviour.

If your opinion of her behaviour is similar, then there's only one way to help:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I had been hoping to write an update this week, saying that the pressure was off for a while, then this happened.

Please help foil this latest dark development in a very nasty story.

Update 64

Mike Sivier

June 30, 2020

Here's why it costs so much to fight a lawsuit brought by Rachel Riley

I've just had the monthly bill from my lawyer. It clears me out of everything that you have raised and leaves me owing a few hundred pounds - with the huge extra cost of a court hearing looming, possibly this month.

This is the reason Rachel Riley has made her application to strike out parts of my defence against her ludicrous accusation of libel, of course; she knows she doesn't have much chance of success - but defending against it will cost me a huge amount of your money.

That's why she keeps making these frankly vexatious demands on court time.

I'm sure she is also hoping that the disappointment of being constantly dragged back to square one will demoralise those of you who contribute to my CrowdJustice fund - put you off helping.

Indeed, one contributor, who donated quite a large amount of cash last month, also questioned why I am paying anything at all - suggesting that if my costs continue to rise I should rid myself of my current legal team and seek pro bono advocacy instead.

That would be a disaster, in my opinion.

You get what you pay for. One of my reasons for choosing the team I have is that I could not be sure of the quality of free legal advice; it would be better to have paid advocates who really know what they're doing. That's not to disparage good pro bono lawyers - but how many people can tell the good from the not-so-good?

Also, there is a particular attractiveness about this case, simply because it is crowdfunded. A win for my side will have a significant effect on civil justice in the United Kingdom - and a consequent boost to the reputation of the legal team involved. For that reason, we have been able to negotiate terms that are mutually satisfactory.

And of course it makes no sense at all to stop using my team, halfway through the case, and to try to instruct another in all its intricacies.

So I am left with the task of re-enthusing you, with the possibility that only a few weeks are left until a very expensive court hearing (remember that Ms Riley's legal team has demanded that it should take place in July). Fortunately, I have a juicy announcement:

I will be making a counter-application to strike out a large part of Ms Riley's case against me, during the forthcoming hearing.

I'm not at liberty to release the details but I can say that I expect my application to be granted without argument.

I have lodged my application with the court already - all I need now is the opportunity to have it granted at the hearing.

So I'm sure you know what's coming next. Please...

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I know it's a lot to ask. It always was. But the cause is just and the case can be won.

And the consequences for justice - if it isn't - are dire. It would mean that rich people can buy justice, using the court system to take money from anybody poorer than them, simply for telling the truth.

Update 63

Mike Sivier

June 17, 2020

Riley libel case: she's using my lack of funds against me yet again!

Rachel Riley seems determined to tell the world that she wants to win her libel case against me by buying justice - so who am I to get in the way?

Let's discuss her latest tactic.

You'll be aware that she has launched a court application to strike out all or part of my defence against her claims. It will cost up to £17,000 for me to defend myself against this part of her court action alone.

The High Court has indicated that it may have time to consider the application in July - meaning I would have less than a month to crowdfund a very large amount of money.

But the members of my legal team have pointed out that it is not possible for them to attend court in July as they have other cases and childcare commitments due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Here's the nasty bit:

Ms Riley's representatives have responded furiously, demanding that the court force a July date for this application to be heard.

They say crowdfunding should not be a reason to delay a libel case and this could establish a precedent.

What they don't say is that such a precedent would enhance justice by keeping both sides in a civil case on an even footing.

And they say if my legal team cannot attend, I should instruct alternative counsel.

Again, what they don't say is that this would place an extra cost burden on me.

Rachel Riley is far, far more wealthy than me. She could afford to spend £60,000 on the "meanings" hearing last December alone. Rushing the hearing of this application so that it happens next month would put her at a huge advantage if I am unable to raise the funds to fight it.

Her application itself is drivel. My legal team and I can defeat it - if we get the chance.

We are fighting Ms Riley's demands, and we have good arguments. Courts should deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost so that both parties are on an equal footing. But the hearing will be listed at a time that best suits the judge.

So I must try to be ready for a court hearing within a few weeks. And that means I must appeal to your kindness again.

I am bitterly sorry that I have to ask you for more help, especially at a time when we are all feeling the financial squeeze of the Covid crisis - but justice is at risk of being bought, and the facts are at risk of being denied.

So, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This is more vital now than ever before, so I'd like to appeal to you especially to make an effort to encourage other people to donate.

You can tell that Ms Riley's team are trying to use her huge financial advantage to influence the courts. They want to make sure not only that I fail, but that a precedent is set to ensure that everybody like me, who has to crowdfund for legal action, will fail in the future. It is vital that they be stopped.

Update 62

Mike Sivier

June 12, 2020

Riley collaborator in racism outrage - and an URGENT APPEAL for help

Tracy-Ann Oberman should be well-known to readers of these updates.

After the teenage girl at the centre of my case was engaged in an argument over anti-Semitism with Rachel Riley - and had been subjected to appalling abuse by her followers, Ms Oberman sent dozens of tweets to her - all on the same (school) day - inviting her to a meal in London.

The poor teenager, who suffers from anxiety, was terrified at this unwanted attention, which she could only conclude had an ulterior motive.

When I wrote about it, Ms Oberman threatened me with a libel action - but eventually left it to her friend, Ms Riley, to take a case to court.

One has to question the validity of her position after yesterday's (June 11) interaction with an American rapper who happens to be black.

It seems a rapper known as Ice Cube had made remarks which had been interpreted as anti-Semitic. I pass no comment on that as I have not yet seen those words. Ms Oberman responded:

The problem here is that the owner of the Twitter handle @FINALLEVEL is Ice T - a completely different person - and one who was completely bemused by the attention:

Ms Oberman apologised... if you can call this an apology:

Is that an apology? Judge for yourself.

People are drawing the obvious conclusion, though - as follows:

"Tracy Ann Oberman tagged the wrong black man in a post about racism because they all seem to look the same to her."

That's the "they all look the same" trope - on Twitter, where people are only represented by words, remember.

And it was perpetrated at a time of heightened sensitivity to racism against black people too.

All from a person who once said she was in a "gang" including Ms Riley who had started to speak out against racism.

And Ms Riley is suing me because I stood up for the girl that both she and Ms Oberman targeted - again, on Twitter.

Her current tactic is an application to strike out all or part of my defence. It will take me a day in the High Court in London to defend against this nonsense  - at a cost of up to £17,000.

And that's cheap - the last application of hers, in December last year, cost me £28,000!

This is where the "URGENT APPEAL" in my headline comes in. This hearing could happen as early as next month (July). If you think individuals like Ms Oberman (and, by association, Ms Riley) should not get away with the behaviour they exhibit on Twitter, then please contribute to my crowdfunder - otherwise I simply will not have enough money.

And that would be a real shame, because my legal team and I have worked out a little surprise that we would love to deliver at that hearing.

Given current unspent funds, we need around £14,000. Here come the instructions, so please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I have a chance to deliver a legally-binding rebuke to these individuals.

But I can't do it without you. Will you help?

Update 61

Mike Sivier

June 7, 2020

Riley's bid to strike out my libel defence is daft. She IS wasting your cash

It seems Rachel Riley is serious in wanting to drag me back to court - but her application to strike out my defence against her libel claims is not.

It's risible - ridiculous.

You'll be aware that the core of the case is a dialogue between Ms Riley and a teenage girl who has been anonymised - in other recent court actions involving the TV game-player - as "R".

Ms Riley’s complaint appears to be that "R" started an argument, Ms Riley was perfectly pleasant to "R" and Ms Riley cannot be held responsible for the actions of others who tweeted abuse to the girl while the dialogue was taking place and afterwards. Consequently, she says, I cannot prove that she incited anyone to do anything and she does not have to prove that she did not incite anyone.

It is easy to disprove these claims. For one, I'm not trying to make Ms Riley prove anything - quite the opposite, in fact. It is also arguable that Ms Riley's arguments are unsuitable for a "strike-out" application as they concern matters that should properly be discussed in the trial.

But I will have to go back to court to show this - and soon. The hearing is likely to take place online (due to the Covid-19 lockdown), probably before the end of July.

This means I need to be sure I can cover my legal costs within two months. These are likely to be similar to those of my last hearing - around £10,000-£12,000 if I recall correctly.

On the "plus" side, fundraising on the CrowdJustice site has been very good over the last month or so, and this makes me optimistic about raising the necessary amount.

But you know what's coming next. Please...

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This application to strike out my defence seems an act of desperation.

It won't help Ms Riley - and it offers me an opportunity to make a few changes too.

Please help me take that opportunity to give Ms Riley and her friends a nasty surprise.

Update 60

Mike Sivier

June 2, 2020

Here's how Rachel Riley's lawyers are wasting your money

I was really pleased with our fundraising efforts at the end of May - only to be brought crashing down by my latest legal bill.

Between the start of the month and the end, the CrowdJustice site took almost £7,000 - going from a total of around £63,000 to £70,000.

That's down to the fabulous response from people like you.

Then I received the bill for "advising you in connection with Riley's proposed strike out application and corresponding with you in connection with the same, liaising with and instructing Counsel in relation to the approach to the strike out application and the amended defence and corresponding with Patron Law for Riley."

£6,500. Almost the entire amount.

You will know that the "proposed strike out application" is nonsense - it's just an attempt to waste my cash and my team's time. There's no prospect of Ms Riley's lawyers actually removing any of my case and I don't think they expect to achieve that.

Nor will they narrow down any of the arguments or evidence at a future trial.

They just know that making vexatious applications like this will waste the money that you have so kindly donated to defend me against their claims.

It confirms what I have said all along: this case is not about justice - it is about money. Rachel Riley seems to think the fact that she has more money than I do means that she can buy justice.

It is a blistering insult to the British legal system.

But it achieves one goal: it forces me to go back to you, cap in hand, and beg for more. After you've all given so much already.

Let's never forget what's being done here, who's doing it, or why.

And let's spread the word about the help I need. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

If you are as angry, reading these words, as I am at having to write them, remember who's responsible.

The only way to stop them doing this is to defeat their case.

Update 59

Mike Sivier

May 23, 2020

Riley launches pointless 'strike-out' bid against Mike's libel defence

Rachel Riley is dragging me back to court with an attempt to "strike out" some of my defences against her libel claims.

Even if she succeeds in any way (this is unlikely), the application to a High Court judge is procedurally pointless because it is unlikely to narrow down any of the arguments or evidence at trial.

It seems the intention is merely to delay the actual trial and run down the funds that you have so generously donated to help me refute her claims.

(Yet again we see that her case is most strongly based on the fact that she has more money than me and can afford to waste it - and time - on this nonsense, rather than on any factual evidence.)

I knew it might happen. Her legal team advised me that she was planning this move - but I responded with a quite detailed letter explaining why their arguments were not valid.

But they have not engaged with any of the points I made; in fact it seems unlikely they even read the letter in any detail as their response makes inaccurate claims.

So now I must prepare for another unnecessary court hearing - this one likely to last a whole day - because of Ms Riley's (in my opinion) vexatious behaviour.

And I have to go back to you and ask for more help to pay for it, when you've only just made a brilliant response to my last appeal. I was stunned by the generosity of contributions, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis that has squeezed everybody's finances and I want to put my appreciation on the record.

The good news is that the "strike out" hearing is unlikely to happen in the immediate future; the bad news is I don't know exactly when it will be, so I cannot plan a funding campaign of any length for it.

I can only make the same appeal as ever. So, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I'm sitting here seething while I'm writing these words.

I think it is outrageous that Riley is doing this right after you have already contributed so much - and when it is hard for any of us to contribute more. It confirms my opinion that this case has absolutely nothing to do with justice.

Update 58

Mike Sivier

May 19, 2020

Newspapers distort libel case to make it seem that Rachel Riley is winning. She

How sad to see that the London Evening Standard (oh, and Mail Online, although this is less surprising) is incapable of reporting a simple judgment in an ongoing libel case properly!

The High Court, in the case of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman v Jane Heybroek, has reached a judgment with regard to the meaning of the words that are at issue, and whether they are statements of fact or expressions of opinion.

And the Standard's interpretation of this judgment is arse-backwards.

"Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of libel battle" trumpets the headline - wrongly. The judgment was neutral. Nobody has won or lost anything.

But if any advantage were gained, This Writer would say it had to have gone to Ms Heybroek.

Here are her own comments:

Note her words [italics mine]: "This was a hearing we asked for in order to narrow down the claimants' claims and, in my opinion, we have successfully done so."

"Significantly, the Judge has found that the first meaning... and the italicised words in the second meaning... were statements of opinion. This is a potentially crucial development because statements of opinion are afforded a defence where the basis of the opinion is indicated, and an honest person could have held the opinion on the basis of facts existing at the time."

Reference to the judgment on the court website Bailii shows that Ms Heybroek's representative, Mr Helme, won more points than the claimants'. Consider the Judge's agreement with him at paragraphs 61, 63, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81 and 83; and the Judge's disagreement with the claimants' representative, Mr Stables, at paragraphs 58, 59, and 65.

In brief, Ms Heybroek won her arguments that the words at issue were expressions of opinion rather than statements of fact. Whether they were defamatory was never likely to be in doubt - but of course that doesn't mean that they were libellous. If they were statements of honest opinion, and the facts on which they were based were accurate to the best of her knowledge at the time, then they were not.

And it is to be noted that these are all secondary considerations; Ms Riley and Ms Oberman's complaint is not about an article by a third party (the matter on which this judgment is made) but about whether Ms Heybroek libelled them by retweeting a link to it. Ms Heybroek states: "Note that this ruling on meanings is without prejudice to my contention that I am not liable for publication of the article by virtue of my re-tweeting a tweet containing a hyperlink to it. That issue remains to be determined, either at trial or before."

So it seems clear that Ms Heybroek won far more than Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. But that information seems to have zoomed right over the head of whoever reported the case to the Standard and the Mail.

Far be it from me to attribute malign intentions, but this failure of accurate reporting can have a serious harmful effect on justice.

Libel cases are hugely expensive and people like Ms Heybroek and myself - This Writer is fighting an ongoing case brought by Ms Riley, remember - cannot afford to defend against the accusations without help.

We ask sympathetic members of the public to support us with donations - but they may be discouraged from doing so, if they read or hear a report claiming that Ms Riley (and Ms Oberman, in Ms Heybroek's case) is somehow winning.

Conversely, if they discover that such claims are false, I would hope members of the public would find their determination to support the defendants redoubled.

The expense of the hearing has put Ms Heybroek out-of-pocket. She is crowdfunding to pay for her case and if you can afford to help, her CrowdJustice site may be found here.

As for my own case - the request is the same as usual. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be nice to see Ms Riley and/or Ms Oberman distancing themselves from the inaccurate media reports.

But, considering my own belief that they would be as happy to win their cases by starving us of funds as they would in a courtroom, I fear I may have to wait a long time for that.

Update 57

Mike Sivier

May 15, 2020

Will coronavirus harm Mike's fight against Riley libel claim?

Court cases don't respect national crises, it seems.

I wanted to update you on the situation at the moment: after more than a year, Rachel Riley is still persisting with her claim that I libelled her by pointing out the way she and her supporters bullied a teenage girl.

I would not have been able to defend myself against this unreasonable onslaught alone because civil cases in court are so expensive that it is impossible for ordinary working people to conduct them.

So I launched a CrowdJustice campaign and it is thanks to the help of all those who have contributed an amazing 3,400 donations - so far - totalling more than £64,000 that I am not unjustly having to pay this minor TV personality a small fortune.

If I had been too poor to put up a defence in court, she would have won by default. I am convinced that this is what she intended when she first threatened me.

Her legal team has lodged costly and delaying applications with the court in order to fritter your donations away. One was a claim that source information had been altered since I published my article; it cost thousands of pounds to defend against that, and in the court hearing the judge threw it out without blinking. He was only interested in the situation at the time I published my article.

Now, my solicitor is having to cope with new claims by Ms Riley - at similar cost.

But we have a new enemy: Covid-19.

The coronavirus, and the economic lockdown it has caused, means we all have less money - but I can't say the same for celebs like Ms Riley. 

That means even though demands on my funds are higher than ever - and make no mistake, all of the £64,000 has already been spent - I fear the flow of donation may trickle to a halt.

That would be devastating - not just to me, but to the facts. To justice.

I have never asked for a fortune from anyone. The average contribution to the CrowdJustice site is £19 but I'm grateful for everything we received.

I know times are hard for people like us.

But are we really going to let Ms Riley win, just because she can coast through this crisis?

Please...

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This time last year, I was just two weeks into this funding campaign and it had made an average of £1,000 per day. That seems like an impossible dream now.

But dreams become reality when people act on them.

Let's show Rachel Riley she can't rely on the coronavirus to drag down the truth.

Update 56

Mike Sivier

May 4, 2020

Is Rachel Riley deliberately misleading people or does SHE not understand libel?

Take a look at this:

That's right - after a neutral judgement on the meaning of the words Rachel Riley claims is libellous, she misled the public: "Today I had the 1st judgement of a handful of libel cases. The verdict supported my claim to have been defamed by Laura Murray."

It didn't. Ms Riley had launched proceedings over a tweet by Ms Murray and in a neutral judgement, Mr Justice Nicklin said the first and second sentences were statements of fact while the third was an expression of opinion - and all may be considered defamatory in common law.

That's not a ruling that Ms Murray had libelled Ms Riley.

But look at her response to Mark, who tweeted: "This is excellent news Rachel. I remember saying on here many months back that you'd almost certainly win your libel case against Murray, and I got a great deal of stick off some know nothing Corbynites, some of whom told me you'd get laughed out of court. Delighted you've won."

She replied: "Turns out many of them don't have that strong an understanding of libel law. Who'd have guessed. Thanks for your support."

It seems to me that it's Ms Riley who doesn't have that strong an understanding of libel law. Otherwise she would know she hasn't won the Murray case.

And that's strange, because she has a solicitor who should be advising her of that. In fact, it is his duty to do so, if she has misunderstood.

But it's more than a week since her reply to Mark and I haven't seen any retraction or correction.

So, is she deliberately misleading her fans? I sincerely hope not.

Of course, Laura Murray isn't the only person facing a libel lawsuit from Ms Riley. She's suing me too - and my case has been misreported in the national press.

Unlike Ms Murray, who I understand is well-funded, I could lose my case due to lack of funds. As I've said many times, I believe Ms Riley is hoping I will run out of cash - and if I can't afford to defend myself, I'll automatically lose.

Considering the implications of her dialogue with Mark, I don't think you'd be happy to let that happen.

So please...

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

There's only one way to stop this nonsense, and that is to win.

And I can't do that without your help.

Update 55

Mike Sivier

April 29, 2020

Judgement reserved on another Riley case: how will the media mess this one up?

The High Court held a hearing on another libel case involving Rachel Riley yesterday (April 28).

This time the object of her ire was Jane Heybroek, who is facing proceedings because she tweeted a link to an article about Ms Riley,

As with Laura Murray's recent hearing, the issue under discussion was the meaning of Ms Heybroek's words, and whether they constituted assertions of fact or expressions of opinion.

After it took place, Ms Heybroek tweeted that Mr Justice Jay had reserved judgement after the hearing, which took place remotely.

Judgement will be delivered in two or three weeks, and Ms Heybroek made it clear that nothing may be said about that judgement until after it is handed down (that is, after it has been made public).

Depending on what the judge decides, this may come as a burden to the people who - for example - prematurely shared details of the Laura Murray judgement with the Daily Mail and the Guido Fawkes blog.

But then, those people may have their own problems anyway - as the court should be pursuing them with a view to prosecuting them for contempt.

We shall all have to see what happens in two or three weeks' time.

The 'meanings' hearing on my case took place last December, of course, and the news media garbled the result to make it seem Ms Riley came out with the upper hand (she didn't).

In fact, she had to re-write her accusation against me. I then submitted a defence to the court and Ms Riley's lawyers are now trying to argue about it.

I take this as yet another attempt to waste the money my supporters have contributed to my CrowdJustice site. I have said many times that libel cases are highly expensive and whenever Ms Riley's lawyers raise an issue, my own legal team have to counter it - at a cost of thousands of pounds.

I believe she never expected to have to go to court. She thought I would not be able to raise any funds to fight her accusations and that - instead of facing justice - she would be able to buy the result she wanted.

The distortions in the newspapers seem to be an attack on a second front - a propaganda war to undermine faith in people like myself, Ms Heybroek and Ms Murray.

We aren't media darlings. We don't have many friends in the right-wing press. We have to rely on you, and on your generosity. That's why I always have to make this appeal:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It seems some people want you to think they're giving you the facts because the shout about them the loudest.

But you can always get accurate information here.

Update 54

Mike Sivier

April 27, 2020

Don't be fooled: Rachel Riley has not won any of her cases

I received an email message today from John Gorniak, courtesy of CrowdJustice.

It said: "The Guardian are running a story that Riley won her case. Is this so and how is it that if she has not they are running this line?"

I think many people may be just as confused as Mr Gorniak at the latest developments.

For clarity: Rachel Riley is suing three people, to my knowledge - myself, Jane Heybroek and Laura Murray. The Guardian report refers to the case against Ms Murray.

It says that Ms Riley has won the first round of her High Court libel claim because a judge had stated that words tweeted by Laura Murray were defamatory in common law, in a judgement on the meaning of the statement.

That is not a ruling that Ms Riley has won her case. Ms Murray will now provide defences that one part of her tweet was true and another was her honestly-held opinion and there will be a trial.

While it is true that the judge upheld Ms Riley's version of the meaning, the difference between it and Ms Murray's was minor.

It is the interpretation of the facts that matters.

But it is hardly surprising that Mr Gorniak is confused. Consider Ms Riley's own tweet about the ruling:

She made it seem that the judge had delivered a verdict on the case as a whole, and that is not true.

It is also not the first judgement. That came in December when the same judge - Mr Justice Nicklin - said that my article, which Ms Riley claims is libellous - was a "classic expression of opinion". He went on to say that there were some statements of fact that I would have to support and I do not expect to have any problems there.

But the Daily Mail (for example) then reported the ruling thus: Countdown star Rachel Riley was wrongly accused of being responsible for death threats sent to teenager, libel trial hears.

It wasn't a trial - just a hearing - and that wasn't the verdict, but it did hear that claim.

You see how easy it is to subvert the facts?

Ms Riley clearly has the media on her side. And she has lots of cash with which to pursue these hugely expensive libel cases. Laura Murray is lucky enough to have some wealth of her own.

I don't.

That's why I have to campaign to raise the money I need to fight her claims about me, which aren't even as accurate as the tweet pictured above.

If any of the above has made you angry about the way a media darling can twist the facts to suit herself, please do as much as you can of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

These cases are making a mockery of British justice. Don't let Ms Riley get away with it.

Update 53

Mike Sivier

April 24, 2020

Riley libel: someone on her team just made a terrible mistake

Rachel Riley is a serial litigant; besides suing me, she is also pursuing Laura Murray, who bit back at one of the Countdown co-presenter's tweets in March last year.

Referring to the incident in which Jeremy Corbyn had been punched by an egg-wielding man in a London mosque, Ms Riley had dug up an old tweet by Owen Jones which said "If you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me." To this, she added the comment: "Good advice."

Ms Murray, who was working in Mr Corbyn's Labour Party office at the time, tweeted her opinion that Ms Riley was saying Corbyn was a Nazi who deserved to be attacked violently. She added that, in her opinion, Ms Riley was a dangerous and stupid person who risked inciting unlawful violence - and nobody should engage with her in any way.

Mr Justice Nicklin, in a judgement based on paper evidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, ruled that Ms Murray had made a statement of fact when she said Riley had stated that Corbyn deserved to be attacked violently.

That's the extent of the difference.

His statement that the words have a tendency to be defamatory isn't a ruling that Ms Murray is guilty of libel; the defendant may say that her statement was factually accurate and back it up with evidence, and she may also provide information to support the opinions that she expressed.

Riley hasn't won the case; this was a ruling on the meaning of Ms Murray's words and whether they were statements of fact or expressions of opinion. There will be a trial at some point in the future.

But Ms Riley and her friends seem to have started celebrating victory prematurely.

And someone went one step further - by publicising the case prematurely.

The image above shows that the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog ran an initial piece on the ruling on April 23, albeit with no further information than a claim that Riley had won. The Mail went further, publishing at 6.21am the following:

But the ruling was not published by the High Court until 10am on April 24 - more than a day later.

So it seems somebody has committed contempt of court.

This was a reserved judgement. That meant that the hearing was some time ago and the judge prepared a written judgement to be handed down on April 24. Prior to handing down, the judge would have sent a draft to the parties. The rules on drafts say:

 2.4 A copy of the draft judgment may be supplied, in confidence, to the parties provided that—

 (a) neither the draft judgment nor its substance is disclosed to any other person or used in the public domain; and

 (b) no action is taken (other than internally) in response to the draft judgment, before the judgment is handed down.

 2.8  Any breach of the obligations or restrictions under paragraph 2.4 or failure to take all reasonable steps under paragraph 2.6 may be treated as contempt of court.

I imagine Mr Justice Nicklin would be very keen to find out who's been playing fast-and-loose with court rules and his judgement. And I can't blame him.

I can't comment on who leaked the story to the press too soon - but I will keep an eye on it.

As for people who prematurely claim a legal victory that they haven't won ... if you're as nauseated by this as I am, then please remember that Ms Riley is attacking me in the same way she is attacking Ms Murray - and I don't have the cash to fight her.

If I can win my case in court, then it should discourage Ms Riley and her friends - harshly - from this vile behaviour. But I can only do it with your help.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be bad enough if Ms Riley had won. The fact that she hasn't, and is claiming she is, is toxic. In my opinion.

Update 52

Mike Sivier

April 14, 2020

Leaked Labour report shows Riley libel case is based on a falsehood

This is not a good look for Rachel Riley:

Her tweet refers to a threat by her lawyer, Mark Lewis, to sue people publicising the leaked Labour Party report on how its officers handled (or rather, didn't) accusations of anti-Semitism by members.

The substantive revelation is that Labour's leadership - especially Jeremy Corbyn - was not at fault in its attempts to handle the issue; it was hampered by right-wing officials who deliberately acted against their instructions in order to make Corbyn look incompetent, thereby putting the public off voting for him and ensuring that he could not form a government.

The report does not accuse anybody of anti-Semitism who had not been accused already - although, as officials acting against Corbyn failed to act on many of those accusations, it could be argued that their inaction indirectly supported anti-Semitism.

So Mr Lewis, by threatening to sue people who are making a fuss about this report's revelation, is acting against the interests of anybody who is genuinely concerned about anti-Semitism; he is supporting people who suppressed investigations, and he is supporting their treachery.

Or so it seems to me.

Ms Riley, by publicly supporting him with a claim that he is "suing nasty Jew-haters" - when he isn't, is pushing a false narrative that brings into question much of her own behaviour - including her libel case against This Writer.

The case arose because I had pointed out that Ms Riley had caused extreme distress - both directly and by encouraging others - to a teenage girl who had defended Mr Corbyn.

Ms Riley's claim was that Labour was doing nothing about accusations of anti-Semitism by party members. Because the teenager said she did not believe Corbyn was responsible for this, Ms Riley attacked her on Twitter and her tweets encouraged others to do the same - to the point where the girl reported that she had received death threats.

The Labour report shows that, if the party machine was doing nothing, this was nothing to do with Mr Corbyn.

So, if the report is accurate (and I have reason to believe it is), the basis on which Ms Riley attacked the girl was false.

Has she apologised?

No! She has doubled down by claiming the information in the report is false and anybody publicising it must be an anti-Semite (even though they are pointing out how anti-Semitism was allowed to happen within the Labour Party because of the inaction of party officers). How perverse!

At least, that's what I take from this tweet.

If I'm right, her lawsuit is based on a falsehood. She had no justification in attacking a teenage girl in the way she did, and therefore no reason to accuse me of libel, for pointing out what arose from Ms Riley's behaviour.

But she has accused me, and her court case will succeed if I don't have the funds to defend myself. Ms Riley is very rich and I am not. From the start, I have made it clear that I think she hopes to win - not because she is right, but because she can afford an expensive court case and she knows that I cannot; at least, not on my own.

So I have to rely on others to help me bring my defence to court.

If, having read the above, you would like to help, there are a few things you can do:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

We now have evidence that Ms Riley's case is founded on a falsehood. Don't let her win because of her wealth.

Update 51

Mike Sivier

March 23, 2020

Riley libel battle enters second year - and I need your help more than ever

It is hard to believe that it's nearly a year since I received my first letter from Rachel Riley's legal team, threatening me with a court trial for libel because I pointed out her hypocrisy.

Ms Riley had complained that Channel 4 had to hire a bodyguard after her behaviour on Twitter prompted some people to make physical threats against her.

I knew that her activities on that platform had also prompted her supporters to intimidate a teenage girl with mental health problems, causing her to fear for her life - and she didn't have the cash for a bodyguard.

Her lawyers demanded that I should apologise for my article, retracting the claims made in it - even though they were based on evidence that remains available for anybody to see, on Twitter, to this day.

They wanted me to pay money to her in compensation for "distress" and "damage" to her reputation caused by me reporting these facts.

And they wanted me to pay their legal costs.

I've said all along that I think they - and she - adopted this attitude because they thought they could bully me.

Libel cases are extremely expensive - and I have discovered that it is possible to inflate the cost with pointless attempts to complicate or extend matters - and it seems they thought a relatively penniless web-based journalist would not be able to afford to fight, in court, against a millionaire celebrity.

In effect, they thought they could buy a judgement against me.

That offended my sense of justice - and still does.

So I set up a CrowdJustice page to fund myself, and found a solicitor. We contacted Ms Riley's team to start discussions, thinking that they would at least attempt to support a form of "alternative dispute resolution" - negotiation - before going to court.

Instead, we were informed that they had launched court proceedings.

And what has happened with those proceedings?

The case has enjoyed two court hearings. At the first, Ms Riley's team tried to argue that there was no need for a hearing to decide the meaning of the words they claimed were libellous, and whether they were assertions of fact or opinion. The judge ruled against them, ordering that the hearing should go ahead.

At the second, the judge agreed with me that my article was primarily an expression of opinion, leaving Ms Riley's team only the possibility of arguing about the factual basis for my opinions.

They have lost ground every time. But still they insist on continuing with the case, still they refuse to simply sit down and talk about it, and still they continue to rack up the cost.

I think they know that their threat to take me to court has backfired and that, if the case is heard in public, the facts revealed in such a hearing could be disastrous for Ms Riley.

So I think they are trying to exhaust my resources by dragging out the process so that my supporters despair of ever seeing a result, and give up.

Please don't give up.

This is a long process. Ms Riley's legal team reckon the trial could now take six days (although I have yet to see their reasoning for such a claim) - and the High Court isn't listing six-day trials until April 2021.

There are multiple preliminary stages to pass before it happens. The case against me could collapse at any one of those stages - if I have the funding to stand firm.

Or my defence could collapse if I can't pay for it.

That's why I must continue to appeal for you to:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

With your help, I've already achieved far more than I had reason to hope.

Let's see it through to a successful end.

Update 50

Mike Sivier

March 18, 2020

SICKENING bullying of innocents shows Riley won't stop until she is made to

Take a look at this:

The "friend to Holocaust deniers" is, according to Ms Riley, the film director Ken Loach. But he is nothing of the sort and there is no evidence showing otherwise.

You're probably familiar with the story. Mr Loach, along with Jewish poet Michael Rosen, was chosen to judge a children's competition run by the anti-racism charity Show Racism The Red Card.

Ms Riley tweeted, and then deleted, this criticism, calling both "deniers/proponents of anti-Jewish racism":

https://twitter.com/Snegreid/status/1225458597351608324

Note that no evidence was put forward in support of these wild claims.

SRTRC initially refused to change its decision, but the announcement trumpeted by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, suggested a u-turn.

All was not as it seemed, though.

In fact, as SRTRC has now stated, the decision for Mr Loach to withdraw was mutual - and based on the fact that he and his family had been subjected to appalling abuse - both online and in person - by people who had swallowed the Riley/BoD narrative, or had a similarly hate-filled agenda of their own.

See for yourself:

"A significant factor in Ken Loach’s decision is the abuse online and in person that he and his family have received. It is profoundly distressing, and he is very concerned to protect those closest to him."

It seems the claim against Mr Loach was that he had mistakenly emailed in support of a person accused of anti-Semitism. He had immediately withdrawn that support after the facts were put before him.

That's not enough for the hate-mongers, though. I have experience of this myself; having been contacted by a person who said she had been falsely accused, I discovered that the accusations were accurate and cut ties with her. It was enough for the haters and they still use the incident as an excuse to tar me with false accusations.

I cannot prove that Ms Riley's tweet prompted others to abuse Mr Loach and his family (although it is certainly an example of such abuse itself). But how many other people broadcast the false claims? And on whose information were those claims based?

The latest tweet makes one thing perfectly clear:

Rachel Riley isn't going to stop.

She will continue with her campaign of online abuse and bullying - against innocent people - until she is made to stop by the power of the law.

So it's hand that there is a case currently in motion that could achieve just that end.

Ms Riley has accused me of libelling her, issuing court proceedings against me. I believe she has done this in the knowledge that libel cases are horrifyingly expensive; she thought I would not have the funds and would have to give in - essentially, she thought she could use her vast wealth to buy justice.

So far, I have been able to crowdfund the money needed to mount a defence - but the case is going to court and I will need much more in order to succeed.

If you think Ms Riley's abuse of innocent people is as despicable as I do, please help me fight her. Here's how:

Donate to my CrowdJustice campaign.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Mr Loach is innocent of wrong-doing, his family certainly are, and so am I. So, I suspect, are many more of Ms Riley's victims.

Please help stop this vile victimisation and bullying.

Update 49

Mike Sivier

March 9, 2020

High Court takes next step in Riley case - but why hasn't she tried mediation?

The High Court has ordered the legal teams acting for myself and Rachel Riley to move onto the next stage of her libel action against me.

This means we have to fill out a 'directions questionnaire' containing details including, for example, the names of any witnesses we wish to call.

More interesting, though, is the possibility of "alternative dispute resolution" - meeting with Ms Riley's legal team in order to end the case without going to trial.

Courts take the view that litigation should be a last resort, and that claims should not be issued prematurely when it is possible for the parties to come to a settlement. If parties refuse to consider this option, then the court may penalise them when determining costs.

This was made clear in the 'Pre-action Protocol for Defamation' that Ms Riley's lawyers sent me, almost a year ago.

But when my own legal team contacted them to discuss the case, they filed proceedings against me rather than take this reasonable step.

I'm still happy to have a chat about it.

It seems silly for Ms Riley to be determined to waste thousands of pounds forcing a trial in which her own behaviour will be dragged into the light, for all to see and condemn.

But, for the time being at least, it seems that is what she wants to do.

She still knows that I can only take the case to trial with your support, while she can rely on her TV-derived riches to, basically, buy a verdict against me.

If you think that it is unreasonable to force a trial when an alternative settlement is available, then please contribute to the CrowdJustice fund.

The only way to discourage Ms Riley from her apparent plan is to convince her that she can't buy a verdict and faces the possibility of the facts being brought out in court.

Here's how you can do that:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I'm offering Ms Riley a chance to avoid expensive court proceedings but so far she hasn't taken it. To me, that seems to show that she is less interested in justice than in bullying a poor person.

If you agree, please give what you can to make sure she is foiled.

Update 48

Mike Sivier

March 3, 2020

If you think Rachel Riley has stopped persecuting innocent people, think again

The gossip-magazine and showbiz-column stories about Rachel Riley and her new baby are all very pleasant but they mask an unpleasant fact: she is still pursuing innocent people like This Writer and Jane Heybroek through the courts, for daring to point out her own bad behaviour.

Ms Heybroek is being sued for libel, because she retweeted a link to an article criticising Ms Riley for attacking a teenage girl - with anxiety problems - who dared to question the celebrity's accusations of anti-Semitism against others.

Ms Heybroek's case is on the "warned list" for a court hearing in the week beginning March 23. If it happens, a judge will hear arguments about the meaning of the article to which she linked.

After that, her case will have reached the same position as mine. I had my hearing in December. It referred to my own article about the same episode, and the judge ruled that most of it represented a classic expression of opinion. He said I would need to defend a few assertions of fact, but I foresee no difficulty in doing that - if I get the chance to do that in court.

For both of us, our difficulty is not the facts of the case - it is the cost of the case.

Defending against a libel suit costs an astronomical amount of money. When I launched my CrowdJustice campaign I made it clear that I think Ms Riley never intended for my case (or, now, Ms Heybroek's) to actually reach court.

I think she expected us poverty-stricken plebs to be unable to afford a court case, meaning that she would win by the mere fact that her TV-derived wealth dwarfs ours. In effect, she would buy justice.

She has been wrong - so farThousands of people have rallied round to help out with tens of thousands of pounds of vital funding.

That's what has kept her at bay. But now I reckon she has a new tactic.

I reckon she thinks that by restricting her public displays to pretty baby-related photoshoots, she'll be able to starve my CrowdJustice campaign - and that of Ms Heybroek - of the funds we need; people will think she isn't bothering with the court cases any more.

You know that isn't true; she's just carrying on her attack in the background.

So I must beg for your help to continue funding my defence in the courts. Here's how:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Rachel Riley may not be making as much noise as before, but she is still trying as hard as ever to harm innocent people. Are you going to let her?

Update 47

Mike Sivier

Feb. 26, 2020

Downing Street racism reveals why we must get Riley into court

Rachel Riley's libel case against This Writer is based on an allegation that she did not victimise a teenage Labour supporter, linking the girl with anti-Semitism after she questioned the Countdown co-presenter's claims.

Ms Riley has attacked Labour supporters and members, running right up to party leader Jeremy Corbyn, as anti-Semites, and published a series of Twitter threads that led her supporters to 'dogpile' the girl - who suffers with anxiety problems - in response to the criticism.

The TV presenter claims to be fighting anti-Semitism and racism. But how can that be true when a racist eugenicist was found to have been employed by the Conservative government as a Downing Street advisor, and Ms Riley had nothing to say about it?

Eugenics is about selectively breeding "undesirable" genetic aspects out of the human race. The Nazis were strong supporters of it - hence their many pronouncements about racial purity and their persecution of minority groups they believed to be inferior, leading up to and including the Holocaust.

Now-former Downing Street advisor Andrew Sabisky (pictured above) had to resign his position as a lieutenant to Boris Johnson's chief SpAd (special advisor) Dominic Cummings after it was revealed that he held the same views.

From this is it easy to deduce that Cummings and Johnson both hold similar racist views.

But Ms Riley has been silent. And people have noticed:

https://twitter.com/ZachKhan17/status/1229567941055827973

https://twitter.com/misslucyp/status/1229494546695905286

https://twitter.com/phildantan/status/1229819930733883393

https://twitter.com/fincarroll97/status/1229869636591792128

https://twitter.com/LouW71225179/status/1230146692802105344

https://twitter.com/RogerDoj/status/1230566167837728769

Part of my court battle against Ms Riley is about pointing out that she is a hypocrite - but I can't bring her to account without help.

It seems clear that she took out libel proceedings against me because she is extremely rich and I am not; she thought I would have to pay her long before the case got into court.

But I launched a CrowdJustice campaign to raise the funds - and so far I have been able to defend myself against her. But we haven't got to the main trial yet and it will cost a lot of money.

If you are sick of hearing hypocrisy from 'influencers' like Ms Riley who should know better, please help. Here's how:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Rachel Riley pushes a one-sided, false point of view - and then uses her riches to buy justice.

If you think that is wrong, please contribute what you can.

Update 46

Mike Sivier

Feb. 8, 2020

Wrong-headed Riley attacks Jewish poet Rosen as anti-Semite Holocaust denier

Countdown co-host Rachel Riley is continuing her private little war against anyone she doesn't like: now she has attacked poet (and former children's laureate) Michael Rosen as a Holocaust denier, months after he published a book about the family he lost in it.

Also attacked was film director Ken Loach - not for the first time.

It arises from a tweet by anti-racism organisation Show Racism the Red Card:

https://twitter.com/SRTRC_England/status/1224709350213718023

Dave Rich, head of policy at Community Security Trust and an Associate at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, then tweeted:

https://twitter.com/daverich1/status/1225024257366929408

Ms Riley's accusation came as a response to Mr Rich - and seems to have mysteriously disappeared from Twitter!

Fortunately, we have a screenshot, provided in response to Mr Rosen's request for evidence:

https://twitter.com/Snegreid/status/1225458597351608324

"The supposed anti-racist football charity #ShowRacismTheRedCard yet again unashamedly promotes deniers/proponents of anti-Jewish racism," her tweet stated, casually tarring Show Racism the Red Card as fellow-travellers with racists. That organisation should take action over this slur.

"I hope schools don't touch this competition with a barge pole."

But Ms Riley's view is not shared by all Jews. Take representative group Jewdas, for example:

https://twitter.com/jewdas/status/1225509192892604423

This is true, as the Telegraph clarifies, saying he wrote The Missing (published on December 12 - nearly two months ago, rather than the days suggested by Jewdas) after talking to a teenage Holocaust denier:

"We are discussing his latest book, The Missing, an account of his European relatives who vanished during the Holocaust. 'I was face to face with one of the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism,' he says, with a long stare. 

The idea for the book was buried in Rosen’s head for decades, as a series of questions he had been asking about his paternal great-uncles, Oscar and Martin, who existed before the Second World War – then vanished from collective memory.

“'I was doing it for the family and for my own stubborn mentality,' says Rosen, 73."

Members of the public have supported this view:

https://twitter.com/laotianrockrat/status/1225511295526604800

https://twitter.com/NiallCArtist/status/1225675787451265024

But many others, apparently influenced by Ms Riley, now seem to believe in her "Holocaust denier" narrative.

Why did she delete her tweet? Is it possible that she realised she had gone too far and that, unlike some of us, Mr Rosen has the funds to hold her to account for such false claims?

I don't know - but I do know that this won't stop her publishing such falsehoods.

It seems clear that this person will continue to make questionably-motivated attacks on innocent people until she is stopped - in court if necessary.

And of course there is a court case already underway - that she launched - that could put a stop to these antics. I refer to her libel action against me.

It was because I stood up for a teenage girl with anxiety issues who Ms Riley had attacked online that she launched proceedings against me. Again, the association was with anti-Semitism.

So allow me to repeat my appeal: if you want to see an end to this nonsense from a so-called TV celebrity who should know better, please support the CrowdJustice appeal for the funds I need to bring the case against me to court and to defeat her claims.

Such a loss would be a serious financial - and personal - setback for her. It is unlikely that Ms Riley would be able to present such questionable views to the public afterwards and expect a sympathetic reception.

I have recently updated the 'stretch' target to £100,000 - to reflect the increased costs necessary due to Ms Riley's persistence in pursuing me.

So here's how you can help:

Please consider making a donation via the CrowdJustice page.

Also (or alternatively), email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

This is a witch-hunt. It will continue as long as privileged people like Ms Riley are allowed to go unchallenged when they attack people, simply for having views that she doesn't like.

Update 45

Mike Sivier

Feb. 4, 2020

Is Rachel Riley's obsession with 'left anti-Semitism' enabling the far right?

After the action, the outcry: Last week, Rachel Riley succeeded in getting Katie Hopkins bumped from Twitter, as reported here.

The move has prompted outrage from certain sections of online society, as evidenced by these examples:

(This was by a Brexit supporter.)

(This was by someone who self-describes as: "American. Patriot. Brexit. Back Boris”.)

(This was from Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula, the far-right activist who Ms Riley supported after he was accused of anti-Semitism).

Now, to me, they seem a pretty right-wing crowd. But Tracy-Ann Oberman, a friend of Ms Riley who also threatened me with court action for libel, seems to think otherwise:

“Watching the Far Left have a twitter meltdown over KatieHopkins twitter ban at the hands of EVIL Rachel Riley and those of us who have helped Twitter assess these matters , is quite a thing. The irrationality and double think plus the outright LIES”.

Huh?

Katie Hopkins is out there on the far right, so it is logical that others on the far right are screaming the loudest. Why is Ms Oberman suggesting otherwise?

Is it a reflex action - blame the left because she is so used to doing it that it is now automatic?

Is she deluded - a new conspiracy-theorist desperate to blame the political theft for whatever plots she can dream up?

That would be bad enough - at least for her mental health.

But what if she isn't deluded and is consciously and deliberately deceiving people by opportunistically blaming the left for instances of anti-Semitism and abuse that are nothing to do with anyone on that side of politics?

That would mean she - and Ms Riley, by extension - are enabling the far right.

Now consider the fact that the organisation that (as I understand it) radicalised Rachel Riley - the Campaign Against Antisemitism - has been reported to the Charity Commission for failing to be independent of party politics, which is required under law if it is to have charity status.

The Green Party made the complaint over the organisation's anti-Labour campaigns and a video by its head of political investigations, celebrating Labour's defeat in the 2019 general election by saying "the beast is slain" and using the word "slaughtered".

The Greens are calling it negative campaigning that incites hatred.

If that is what the CAA has been doing, then is it a big stretch to believe that Ms Oberman is part of such an agenda? Or Ms Riley?

I think these so-called celebrities have serious questions to answer.

If you agree, please support my defence against Ms Riley's libel action against me. If it gets to trial, we will be able to examine her behaviour and put those questions to her directly.

Here's how you can help:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

People like Ms Oberman and Ms Riley seem to think that their wealth makes them impervious to criticism; that they can say and do whatever they want.

We have a chance to show them they are wrong. Let's take it.

Update 44

Mike Sivier

Feb. 1, 2020

Removal of Katie Hopkins from Twitter shows my enemy's enemy isn't my friend

Some may say Rachel Riley has done the public a huge service by campaigning for - and achieving - the removal of Katie Hopkins from Twitter.

This Writer finds Ms Hopkins, her politics and her behaviour unspeakable. Consequently I have refused to comment on them, often responding to comments about her by others with: "I don't know who that is."

The last week Ms Riley, along with a representative from the Campaign to Counter Digital Hate (CCDH), visited Twitter bosses, demanded Ms Hopkins' removal from Twitter, and got it. She's locked out of her own account for the time being.

And that's good. I approve of what has happened.

But I still don't approve of the person who did it.

And I wonder if the CCDH has taken a hard look at Ms Riley's own account.

What about the hatred directed at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and anybody remotely associated with him? What about the time she compared the Durham Miners' Band with the Ku Klux Klan for no good reason? Or the time she wrongly accused a Labour election candidate of anti-Semitism?

What about the abuse and harassment of a teenage girl, and the accusation of libel against people like myself who stood up to defend that girl?

And what about the fact that Ms Riley gets away with all of this because she is an overpaid TV celebrity who can use her wealth to bully into submission anybody against whom she has a disagreement?

If you don't think legitimate anti-hate campaigns should be consorting with the likes of Ms Riley, contact them and make the point. CCDH is on Twitter: @CCDHate and the representative who met Twitter bosses with her was @imi_ahmed

You could also - or alternatively - call for people of genuinely good conscience to support my CrowdJustice campaign to make Ms Riley rethink he abhorrent behaviour.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

You don't fight hate by supporting haters. Please support justice instead.

Update 43

Mike Sivier

Jan. 28, 2020

You'll be amazed at what Rachel Riley doesn't want you to know

My legal team and I have been putting together our defence against Rachel Riley's claims that I libelled her - and it is full of information she won't want the public to see.

I'm not referring simply to what we know of her behaviour already - the many ill-informed attacks on Jeremy Corbyn (including an incitement to violence against him) and Noam Chomsky, her own anti-Semitic claim that she didn't look like a "typical Jew", likening the Durham Miners' Gala band to the Ku Klux Klan, defaming a Labour candidate in the general election - it's a very long list.

I'm referring to her behaviour toward a teenage girl with anxiety problems who dared - how dare she? - to have a different opinion. Some of it is astonishing.

And it will never see the light of day unless you help me get it into court.

I can't reveal any of it here because it would prejudice the court proceedings - and Ms Riley's lawyers would take great pleasure in attacking me for making fresh allegations, I feel sure.

Fundraisers have already achieved miracles, raising a huge amount that has already been put to good use fending off Ms Riley's lawyers so far.

But compiling the defence has been a huge, intensive amount of work. I know because I spent many days over the Festive Season, battling through illness to put much of the raw information together.

Almost all the money that has been raised has been spent. If we don't get more, we can't go forward.

It's as simple as that.

Libel is hugely expensive. From the start, my belief has been that Ms Riley thinks she can use her vastly-greater wealth to crush me and - in effect - buy the result that she wants.

I think her attitude is that the facts can go to Hell - she wants to make me pay.

I know you don't accept that. Please put some more into the pot so I can keep fighting against this cruel and unnecessary attack.

Here are the details:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I know times are hard and money is tight for everyone - except the likes of Ms Riley.

Please do what you can to support justice.

Update 42

Mike Sivier

Jan. 14, 2020

Was Rachel Riley among 'our celebrities' group used to 'slaughter' Corbyn?

A video clip has come to light of a campaigner for a pressure group, praising "our spies and intel, our celebrities" after Labour and Jeremy Corbyn were "slaughtered" in the 2019 general election.

Joe Glasman, leader of the so-called 'political investigations team' at the misnamed Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), made the claim in a video rant that was quickly set to 'private' - but you can see it here.

The CAA was set up during a period of violence between Israel and Palestine in 2014, and has spent the time since then smearing critics of the Israeli government as anti-Semitic.

Many critics have stated that the last thing this 'charity' does is actually campaign against anti-Semitism.

And in the four years since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, it has pushed hard the false notion that Labour had become anti-Semitic, despite the fact that anti-Semitism in the party fell well below the national average during Mr Corbyn's leadership.

And in 2018, along came Rachel Riley, claiming that she had been moved to join the fight against anti-Semitism - particularly in the Labour Party - and claiming as her friends in that fight many of the CAA's fellow-travellers.

She and Mr Glasman are well-known to each other on Twitter and when he posted his video rant, she tweeted this reply:

https://twitter.com/RachelRileyRR/status/1210298694249144321 

The question for my case is: was Ms Riley carrying out the wishes of Mr Glasman or the CAA when she attacked Labour-supporting journalist Owen Jones on Twitter? It was this that sparked the confrontation between her and a teenage girl that, in turn, led to my article.

To be honest, I'm not sure it matters for the purposes of justice.

But it is deeply disturbing that Ms Riley may be connected with a network of individuals who appear to have deliberately set out to corruptly influence the outcome of a general election - as Mr Glasman put it in his own words.

If you are as disturbed by this as I am, then please share this information with people you know - and ask them to contribute to my CrowdJustice campaign. Hopefully we'll be able to get to the bottom of this.

Here come the details:

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

The more we find out about this, the more sinister it becomes. People like Ms Riley have a lot of money, and they are trying to use it to escape justice. Let's make sure they can't.

Update 41

Mike Sivier

Jan. 9, 2020

Is this an example of how wealth is used to stifle justice?

I've been made aware of an interesting political angle to the libel case brought against me by Rachel Riley:

It seems that right-wing sites on social media can say whatever they like, and their victims are expected to "take it on the chin", whereas those attacking left-leaning sites are "only too happy to call in the lawyers to extract apologies - and of course money".

I refer to the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog, which mistakenly claimed that Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey had misled the nation about her personal wealth, being married to a chemical industry tycoon.

She isn't.

In fairness, Guido's bosses have apologised and deleted the article and links to it.

But it's not a good look for a site that claims to fight "fake news".

And according to Zelo Street (whose article forms the basis of this one), Guido boss Paul Staines "claims not to take any notice of legal threats and attempts to prevent him from publishing what he wishes".

So we have a situation where right-wing organisations can insult people, and mislead the public about them willy-nilly. Is that because they know their targets can't afford to sue them?

In contrast, when someone else - like me - raises a legitimate issue, I get lumbered with a hugely expensive court action.

The Zelo Street information suggests that I'm right in thinking the case against me is more about buying a verdict than actually serving justice.

But they didn't count on enough people supporting my CrowdJustice campaign to give me a stab at defeating them.

So far, nearly £50,000 has been raised - but more is needed. When I started, I did not expect to get far, but the stunning amount of support I've received has given me a fighting chance.

Please keep the cash coming in, and encourage others to do the same. Here's a reminder of how to do it:

Please consider making a donation yourself.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I can disprove the allegations against me. With your help, I'll be able to afford to.

Update 40

Mike Sivier

Dec. 29, 2019

Riley has launched court proceedings against someone else. What does that mean?

Some of you may be aware that Rachel Riley (and her partner-in-litigation threats, Tracy-Ann Oberman) has launched a court case against someone else on a matter connected with my own case.

But while I had written an article, all Jane Heybroek did was retweet a link to one (not mine; one of the articles on which my own piece was based).

You can find details of the case on her own CrowdJustice site, here. And feel free to contribute to her funds if you can.

The fact that Ms Riley is taking other people to court over this matter suggests that she is not about to give up her pursuit of me, despite the evidence that is mounting against her position.

It also suggests that I am right in my belief that she is hoping to drain my funds - and those of Ms Heybroek - to ensure that we become unable to sustain our cases and have to seek a settlement, or let her win, before any trial takes place.

I wonder whether she thinks opening a case against another person will make this easier to achieve, assuming that there are a limited number of people willing to support us - and therefore a limited amount of money available for our CrowdJustice campaigns.

Only you can prove her wrong.

My legal team is about to write the detailed defence against Ms Riley's latest claim against me (she had to re-word it after a judge's ruling earlier this month) - and it will kill her claim against me stone dead, if it gets a hearing in court.

My guess is that it will also kill the claim against Ms Heybroek.

We need to get it heard in court.

As I have mentioned before, defamation (libel) cases are extremely expensive. Even though nearly £50,000 has been provided to fund my case through this site (so far), most of it has been used getting it this far.

If you can't contribute more yourself right now, that's perfectly understandable. But please encourage your friends to visit this site - https://crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ - and contribute.

The average amount donated per person is less than £20. That's not a lot to give in return for justice.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal. I've seen a lot of tweets supporting this case - but usually from the same few people. If you're not one of them - and you are on Twitter - it doesn't take much effort and it could make a huge difference.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. I haven't seen many of these at all, and Facebook is far more influential than Twitter. I'd like to! If you do this, feel free to let me know.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be easy to tell yourself that you've done your bit. After all, this campaign has been running for a few months and there's a new one to grab your attention.

That is how Ms Riley could win.

If you believe in justice - and if you're reading this, I know you do - then that's the last thing you want for this case.

Let's set a precedent for 2020 with a big boost - and keep it going.

Update 39

Mike Sivier

Dec. 24, 2019

Merry Christmas to everybody who has supported my campaign

This is not another appeal for cash.

It's just a quick note of thanks for all the support you have given me and my CrowdJustice campaign since it was launched.

Your help has meant I have been able to mount a defence against the libel proceedings launched against me by Rachel Riley - and I hope your support in the future will allow me to continue to do so, until her court action is defeated.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas.

Update 38

Mike Sivier

Dec. 21, 2019

Don't expect the papers to report Riley libel trial straight

I finally got round to reading the Daily Mail's report of the court hearing in the Rachel Riley libel case on December 11 - and all I can say is: how disappointing!

The result of the hearing was that the judge rejected most of Ms Riley's claims about the meaning of my article, and the members of her legal team were told to go away and rethink their charges against me.

So why did the author of the Mail report lead on a claim that Ms Riley had been wrongly accused of being responsible for death threats against a teenage girl?

I don't think I even heard that claim being made in court; it is possible that it was implied - I put the likelihood no higher than that.

In fact, my article stated that I did not believe she had intentionally tried to get her followers to threaten the girl with death. I argued that she had been irresponsible and reckless, in that others seemed to have been encouraged to do so after reading her comments.

The Mail accurately reported that Ms Riley's lawyers argued that my article portrayed her as a hypocrite - but then, so did my own. That was the opinion my article was presenting.

And the judge, Mr Justice Nicklin, ruled that the article was a classic expression of opinion in that respect.

If this is the standard of journalism I can expect in reports of the case, then I can expect no justice from the mass media.

But then, we won't need to worry about what they say if I win the case; they will make themselves look foolish.

If you would like to see that happen, then please help my CrowdJustice campaign (or carry on helping, if you have done so already):

Please consider making a donation yourself via my CrowdJustice page - I know the Festive Season is upon us and cashflow can be difficult at this time, but when you are able, all contributions will be appreciated.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

I've got the evidence I need but now I need to be able to afford the cost of getting it heard in court.

Update 37

Mike Sivier

Dec. 19, 2019

Libel case: The evidence is mounting up - against Rachel Riley

Last week's court hearing provided crucial guidance to the defence against cruel libel accusations by Rachel Riley.

Mr Justice Nicklin said my article had asserted that Ms Riley "has engaged upon, supported and encouraged a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year-old girl, conduct which has also incited her followers to make death threats towards her." 

So I have spent the last week looking up evidence to prove the claims in that sentence.

I have succeeded in that task - in all respects.

But having evidence is not enough.

It must be accepted as factually accurate by a High Court judge.

And to achieve that, I still need the funds to employ my legal team.

Last week's hearing produced a good result - but it was costly.

To succeed, we need to put a little more in the kitty.

Those of you who have been around since the start will probably know the next bit by heart, but please bear with me - and follow these instructions if you can:

Please consider making another donation yourself - I know the Festive Season is upon us and cashflow can be difficult at this time, but when you are able, all contributions will be appreciated.

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

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

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

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

Ms Riley has nothing to gain from this court case - unless she manages to prolong it beyond my ability to pay for my own defence.

I have maintained from the start that this is about wealth subverting justice; that Ms Riley thinks she can drain my funds so I cannot continue - and win by default what she cannot win by argument before a judge.

If you believe in justice - and I know you do - then I hope you can continue to prove her wrong.

Update 36

Mike Sivier

Dec. 12, 2019

Court hearing puts Mike at advantage in Riley libel case

A High Court judge has ruled that my article, which Rachel Riley claims libelled her, is a "classic expression of opinion".

The ruling puts Ms Riley in a very difficult position as it is now almost impossible for her to prove that it is defamatory.

She would have to find a way to show that I did not honestly hold the opinion I put forward - or that I wrote the article out of malice. Neither is possible, because I did honestly hold the opinion, and I didn't write it out of malice.

Now the not-so-good news:

Mr Justice Nicklin also ruled that my article says Ms Riley "has engaged upon, supported and encouraged a campaign of online abuse and harassment of a 16-year-old girl, conduct which has also incited her followers to make death threats towards her."

This, he said, was a statement of fact.

It means that I must prove that Ms Riley did those things.

I do not expect to have any trouble doing so, as I have evidence, and I have witnesses.

In other words:

My defence is now far more likely to succeed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who turned up to offer me good wishes on the day.

One was a gentleman who I discover is called Jon. I know his name because he promised to donate more to the crowd fund - and did so before I managed to get home. You can see what he has to say by finding him in the comments on the CrowdJustice site.

I was deeply grateful to hear those words at the end of the hearing, although that may not have been entirely clear as I was extremely tired from the stress of appearing in the High Court.

And I was doubly grateful to receive his donation. This campaign still needs cash as Ms Riley has not dropped her suit against me, even though it now seems clear that I am likely to win.

So, please bear with me while I appeal once again for funds:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

One last thing: Ms Riley didn't bother to turn up to yesterday's hearing.

I know she's heavily pregnant and - charitably, it seems - thought that perhaps she had gone into Labour. Sadly, I read in the papers that this was not the case.

I wonder what her excuse was.

Update 35

Mike Sivier

Dec. 8, 2019

Three days to go: this could be your last chance to support my libel fight

If you've been following the progress of Rachel Riley's libel case against me, you'll know there's a TPI - that's "Trial of Preliminary Issues" - in the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday (December 11).

The issues under examination are what the words in my article that Ms Riley finds objectionable actually mean - and whether they constitute an expression of fact or a statement of opinion.

So this could be your last chance to contribute to the CrowdJustice fund before we begin the big climb to the main trial.

Are you going to help me out?

You probably know the routine by now but, just so there's no confusion, here's how you can help:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

I'll post a full update after the hearing, of course.

Update 34

Mike Sivier

Nov. 30, 2019

Rachel Riley's STILL fighting Jeremy Corbyn with dodgy sources. Help me stop her

Rachel Riley tells us she can't sleep.

She'd have us believe it is because she is concerned about the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn government on December 13 - and this makes sense.

It was her campaigning against Mr Corbyn that triggered the online tussle with a teenage girl that led to the libel case against me.

But Ms Riley chooses some strange allies. Consider:

The exchange that "gives" her "hope" indicates that Ms Riley supports the vague rant by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis last week, when he claimed - wrongly, as it turned out - that British Jews were afraid of a Corbyn-led Labour government.

No evidence was produced in support of this claim and we later discovered that Mr Mirvis is a staunch Conservative, a friend of Theresa May and Boris Johnson, and also a former resident of Israel who apparently supports the military subjugation of Palestinians - something Mr Corbyn strongly opposes as he advocates a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Mr Corbyn has since received messages of support from other UK-based Jews and Jewish organisations. Those that have come from other rabbis have equal weight to the comments of Mr Mirvis as Jewish law provides no support for the position of a "Chief Rabbi" of higher rank than them; every rabbi has equal authority in principle and the position arises from secular administrative reasons including providing an intermediary between the government and the Jewish community.

I mention all this to demonstrate that Ms Riley relies on sources which, at best, could be described as questionable in her denunciations of Mr Corbyn.

This is exactly the reason a teenage girl suggested to Ms Riley that she should be "ashamed" of herself - that she had been sharing "awful" media.

The exchange that followed led to the girl saying she had received death threats from Ms Riley's followers.

Now, nearly a year later, we can see Ms Riley will keep acting in this provocative manner - unless, perhaps, she receives a reprimand from the courts.

That is what my case is all about.

She is trying to excuse herself for the abuse received by a teenage girl - with mental health issues - by trying to silence me.

Her method of silencing me isn't getting a judgement in court - it's an attempt to make justice too expensive for me, with a long-drawn-out series of court proceedings.

But I am close to winning and she knows it.

All I need is the funding to see it through.

And after more than £40,000 has been donated already, you wouldn't want me to fail for the lack of a little more, would you?

Here are the fiddly details once again:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

Ms Riley says she is losing sleep because of the election.

Perhaps she would be better-occupied preparing to face me in court.

Update 33

Mike Sivier

Nov. 21, 2019

If you think Riley went too far with photoshopped T-shirt, support my court case

Rachel Riley may be facing problems of her own making, after she photoshopped an image of Jeremy Corbyn with a falsehood and put it on a T-shirt.

It seems she does not understand how offensive it is to over-write an image of him protesting against racism in South Africa (in 1984) with a proof-less claim that he himself is a racist.

It is behaviour like this that led to the libel case against me, of course. I wrote an article protesting after Ms Riley took issue with a teenage girl who criticised her attacks on Jeremy Corbyn (and others she considers anti-Semitic).

This unwarranted behaviour called the girl to the attention of certain followers of Ms Riley, who then subjected her to a torrent of abuse, including death threats.

Ms Riley took offense at my article and threatened to take me to court. My belief is that she thought she could bully me into paying her some money because I could not afford to defend myself.

Instead, I started this CrowdJustice page and you helped me fight back.

There could be no better demonstration of why I need to win this case than this latest incident. It is clear that Ms Riley will continue with this abhorrent behaviour unless she is made to face legal consequences for it.

I don't think there will ever be a better time for you to encourage other people to contribute to my appeal, so please forgive me for asking yet again:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself – or contributing for a first time, if you haven’t already.

Public opinion has taken a huge swing against Ms Riley. If people are told there is a court case involving her, I feel sure they will want to help.

Update 32

Mike Sivier

Nov. 16, 2019

We're close to funding our next court appearance. Will you get us over the line?

To everyone who contributed to the CrowdJustice site since my last update - thank you. We're more than £1,000 closer to funding the hearing on December 11.

I have also received a few hundred pounds in donations to Vox Political that I will put into the pot. But that means there's still more than £5,000 to raise.

Meanwhile, Ms Riley's behaviour gets stranger and stranger. Last week she managed to libel a solicitor who happened to have the same name as someone accused of anti-Semitism (see here). Informed of the blunder, she apologised, saying she did not want to spread untruths. You may find that a hard line to accept!

Since then, she supported the words of a Scottish priest who heckled Jeremy Corbyn, on the campaign trail, with the haggard old line that he is a terrorist sympathiser.

He turned out to be an anti-Semite (see here).

It seems clear that Ms Riley will continue in this manner until she is given a strong enough reason to stop.

A court defeat could be exactly such a reason.

But time is ticking down and if I can't fund my legal team at the next hearing, it's not going to happen.

So...

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And please consider making another donation yourself - or contributing for a first time, if you haven't already.

This case is going our way. Let's keep the pressure up!


Update 31

Mike Sivier

Oct. 26, 2019

Positive result from first day in court - but it's not over!

The libel case against me finally arrived in court on October 25 - and the judge agreed with my approach.

Another judge had ordered a short directions hearing after Rachel Riley's representatives had objected to a proposal for a TPI - trial of preliminary issues - a hearing on the meaning of the words I wrote that Ms Riley claims were libellous, and on whether they count as assertions of fact or simply opinions based on the evidence available.

At the hearing, after considering my representative's submissions on case law, the judge ordered that the TPI would go ahead.

So we are back to facing the hearing we would have had earlier this month - going through the same process we proposed over the summer.

And there has been extra cost, of course.

So I have to appeal for you to keep the donations coming in. I have said all along that I think this case is a confrontation between my demand for justice and Ms Riley's wealth - that she thinks she can buy the result she wants by forcing me to spend all the money available to me before the evidence can be heard.

If that is her strategy, it may well succeed. Bear in mind that some of the total raised on this page has already been spent, and more will go soon.

Follow the following instructions, if you would still like to help me win:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

I have the arguments and I have the evidence. All I need is a chance to present them to a judge.

Update 30

Mike Sivier

Oct. 8, 2019

Court confrontation over Riley libel case is postponed

A preliminary court hearing to discuss the issues of a libel case brought against Vox Political's Mike Sivier by celebrity parlour game-player Rachel Riley has been postponed after a judge decided to have a short "directions" hearing instead.

The intention had been to hold a hearing on the meaning of the words I wrote that Ms Riley claims were libellous, and on whether they count as assertions of fact or simply opinions based on the evidence available.

It seems a judge has asked for a short additional hearing to decide exactly what happens next. He has cancelled a hearing that was due to take place on Friday (October 11) and called for another hearing to be arranged. As this is a purely mechanical matter - no evidence is to be heard, I will not have to attend.

It will be a further drain on funds. And any decision to hold multiple hearings when only one was expected will drain them even more.

So the message to my supporters is: please continue to donate to the CrowdJustice fundraiser.

I do not know how long the preamble to the case will be dragged out, but I am concerned that attempts will be made to fritter away the donations you have already made, in order to make me unable to afford to have the evidence heard. That would be an insult to justice, as I have said all along.

It seems this remains a case in which wealth is set against the facts; an attempt to buy justice by pricing it out of my range.

So I must again appeal for you to follow the following instructions, if you would like to help me win:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

We are approaching the sharp end of this matter now, although increasingly slowly, it seems. Let's make sure it goes all the way.

Update 29

Mike Sivier

Aug. 27, 2019

This phase of Mike's anti-libel crowdfunder is set to close soon. Donate now!

It seems the CrowdJustice site that has been running for the last few months is finally set to close.

With it ends the first phase of my campaign to raise cash to pay the legal eagles I need to beat the false claims against me - in or out of court.

The initial aim was to demonstrate to Rachel Riley, Tracy Ann Oberman and their solicitors that there was no truth in their claim that I had libelled them, and that there was no point in trying to take it to court.

This has fallen on deaf ears.

So the next phase will concentrate on ensuring we have enough cash to go into court and mount a defence that will convince a judge that my accusers don't have a leg to stand on.

We have almost enough to pay for a preliminary hearing, which may take place in the autumn. I won't know whether further hearings will take place until we get a ruling from the judge.

So please allow me to appeal, one last time, to your generosity. If you would like to help me win:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Money isn't an issue for my opponents. They are trying to use my lack of it to bully me into giving up - in effect, to buy justice.

I find that attitude utterly repulsive, and I hope you do too.

So please help, while there's time.


Update 28

Mike Sivier

Aug. 19, 2019

A nasty reminder of why I am fighting a false libel claim

This Writer's fight against false libel claims by Rachel Riley isn't just about her, but also about defending myself against her cronies who think that bullying young people  - and using vile language to intimidate anybody - is acceptable behaviour.

I'm referring to the kind of people who sent death threats to a teenage girl with anxiety issues, making her afraid to leave her house after Ms Riley referred to her in some very unwise tweets.

I was reminded of their ways earlier today, after the celebrity David Schneider tweeted concerns about a Labour Party member who had been outed as an anti-Semite by a member of an anonymous troll network closely associated with Ms Riley. I tweeted a warning that these people were not to be trusted and that, in my opinion, they were contributing to any increase in anti-Semitism by their behaviour.

Think about it: If you were subjected to a false accusation of anti-Semitism by someone, and then to bullying by that person's followers, I think it would be enough to make you extremely unhappy with them. Add in the fact that they claim to be representing Jewish people, and it would be easy to let that... let's call it disgruntlement... spill over to become a generalised unhappiness with that entire social group.

Fortunately, both I and the young lady involved have avoided that. But you can appreciate that others may not be as even-handed about it.

Inevitably, given the nature of the conversation, somebody had to take issue with me - so I gave my reasons for reacting as I had:

harrytaylor: "The people firefighting are responsible for the fires, not the arsonists themselves.

"Got it, cheers."

Me: "No - they are themselves arsonists. Do not mistake anything they do with a genuine interest in combating anti-Semitism. They have a different agenda which is political; that is why the focus is unremittingly on the Labour Party."

This led to a dialogue in which the following happened:

harrytaylor: "A 5 sec glance at your feed tells me all I need to know. You're a Corbyn fan, you support Chris Williamson.

"Corbyn has decades of supporting people who wish to kill and spread hate about Jews. I'm happy to expand on this if you want to test my "ignorance"."

(((Fightingb4ck))): "Harry, I'm surprised you don't know Mike. He's one of those odd non jews who is obseessed with Jews whilst always claiming that he's an anti racist.  He has a particular problem with Jewish women, which is why he is being sued by them."

We may conclude that harrytaylor isn't interested in anti-Semitism - he wants to attack Jeremy Corbyn - and Chris Williamson - with false accusations.

And I know I don't have to explain to anybody here that (((Fightingb4ck)))'s tweet was entirely false (although the inclusion of the link to my CrowdJustice appeal was welcome and I hope people used it to donate).

The trouble is, it's an attempt to harm me and my credibility with lies.

Another anonymous troll also leapt in, tweeting "I don't know why you debate with that racist scumbag Sivier - racist c**** like him deserve just one kind of message. He is the most vile kind of BNP racist."

I suppose it's a relief that this person self-censored the 'C'-word. If I were someone who didn't have a website, they probably wouldn't.

This is the treatment dealt out to people like myself and others who support justice based on fact: evidence-free abuse.

I wonder if Ms Riley is proud of her supporters?

It all reminds me of the reasons I must fight her - and their - false claims. But I still need help to do it so I'm taking this opportunity to renew my appeal.

If you are willing to help me defeat the liars, you are invited to do one, some, or all of the following:

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this CrowdJustice site. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

It seems clear to me that these people aren't fighting against anti-Semitism; they're simply trying to upset people who support the current Labour leadership for political reasons of their own.

A court win might give them reason to reconsider their behaviour - but I can't make that happen without your help.

Update 27

Mike Sivier

Aug. 15, 2019

Here's why you should support Chris Williamson's legal fight against Labour

This may seem counter-productive as I am currently crowd-funding for a court case I have to fight later this year - but we need to stand together.

Chris Williamson MP's membership of the Labour Party has been re-suspended over accusations of anti-Semitism, in a move that he claims breaches party rules.

The trumped-up claim against him is very similar to the nonsense that was said about a teenage girl by Rachel Riley, about which I wrote an article that induced Ms Riley to sue me for libel.

I don't take kindly to false accusations. They bring British justice into disrepute - whether in court or in organisations like Labour.

So I'm calling on supporters of Vox Political to help Mr Williamson out - as many of you have helped me. You can read the details of his planned action by clicking on the link in this tweet:

https://twitter.com/CampaignForCW/status/1161306981677903874

As for my own crowdfunder...

I expected matters to go quiet over the summer, and they have - although there seems to have been an attempt by Ms Riley's lawyers to engage mine in a dialogue about the meaning of my article and whether parts of it were based on fact or opinion.

As my representatives tried to discuss these matters with them but heard nothing for two months until they filed proceedings with the court, I consider this to be an attempt to waste my money on costly legal letters.

It's the kind of trick we can expect from people who try to use wealth to buy justice.

If you don't like the idea of tactics like that, please join your contribution to my CrowdJustice campaign; I need a lot more cash to mount a really strong defence.

Here are the details:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Update 26

Mike Sivier

Aug. 7, 2019

Thanks sent to Rachel Riley after she inadvertently saved news website

The irony is strong in this one. Rachel Riley - yes, THAT Rachel Riley - thought she was signing the death warrant of lefty news site The Canary. Instead she gave it a new lease of life.

You may remember me writing that a shady organisation calling itself "Stop Funding Fake News" had persuaded enough advertisers to boycott The Canary that editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza had been forced to seek an alternative way of financing the site.

(In fact, it seems this was an oversimplification. Changes to Google and Facebook algorithms had cut traffic to the site and advertising income was falling, along with the attack by people who opposed the site's politics.)

Ms Mendoza had appealed for 1,000 people to take out subscriptions to the site within six months, in order to keep the left-wing news site going.

Rachel Riley had issued a tweet rejoicing at what she considered to be the imminent demise of the site, and reader-response was enormous.

That's right - The Canary reached its target of 1,000 new subscribers after only two weeks.

And while some have considered it appropriate to send condolences to Ms Riley, I think it more appropriate to thank her for her contribution, without which it may have taken The Canary much longer to reach its target.

Thank you, Ms Riley! You are a great supporter of the New Left Media!

Many others have thanked her via Twitter already.

Seriously, though, Ms Riley's attempts to stifle independent news and commentary don't end there. As many readers know, she is currently suing me for libel and the case will go to court later this year.

I have been campaigning to raise funds to fight the allegation, on the CrowdJustice website, and this battle is still ongoing.

So, if you're not familiar with the details, please visit https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ and find out what the fuss is about.

Then please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Be part of the backlash against the bullies.

Update 25

Mike Sivier

Aug. 4, 2019

'Bad faith' bid to ruin left-wing website - from Mike's false libel accuser

This is poetic justice.

Yesterday (August 3), thousands of people saw a tweet from Canary editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza, stating that false claims about that news site were being used to discourage advertisers and starve it of revenue in an attempt to put it out of business.

Guess who was spearheading this nasty little operation?

https://twitter.com/TheMendozaWoman/status/1157545827881181184

That's right - Rachel Riley, who is currently trying to sue This Writer for libel after I revealed the consequences of her own reckless behaviour on Twitter.

There seems to be a linking tactic here.

The organisation "Stop Funding Fake News" has persuaded several advertisers to boycott The Canary, in a bid to starve it of the cash it needs to function properly. Ms Riley's court fight against me appears to have the same aim - to deprive me of the funds I need in order to carry on writing Vox Political.

It's a 'bad faith' attack - an attempt to deceive you into disapproving of a reputable news site, solely on the word of people who only claim to be reputable themselves. Ms Riley's currency has been tarnished by her own behaviour and "Stop Funding Fake News" is a group of anonymous activists whose motivation cannot, therefore, be trusted.

I believe both these attacks are doomed to failure.

Ms Mendoza tweeted a thread about the threat to The Canary, as follows:

https://twitter.com/TheMendozaWoman/status/1157545842875785216

https://twitter.com/TheMendozaWoman/status/1157545865910923264

I was away from my desk yesterday and could not write an article in support. But I re-tweeted the appeal and I understand more than 1,500 others have done the same.

I can't speak for the others, but it seems my own contribution has helped somewhat. Here are some of the responses I've received, many from people who chose to respond directly to Ms Riley:

"They’re Newsguard trustmarked, independently regulated, we know who funds them & how they share that income. They’re open & accountable when they make mistakes. Is it really fake news or just news that doesn’t fit your agenda?"

"Thanks for highlighting this, I've just set up a direct debit to support @TheCanaryUK #forthemany NOT the privileged FEW."

"Thanks for bringing this to my attention. As a supporter of free speech I've now taken out a monthly subscription to support their new business model."

"Seems like this [has] backfired. Loads of people are subscribing with donations. Free and truthful left-wing media will survive despite your efforts. Well done."

"Never heard of the website so thanks for bringing it to my attention, am now a subscriber!"

"Thanks for the heads-up. Just subscribed."

"Had no idea this was happening. Just became a subscriber."

"Thank you for bring The Canary to my attention. My wife and I have just signed up for a monthly subscription. Because of your rampant foaming bitterness against free press many people have signed up."

If that's the response, just to my re-tweet, then it seems likely the Canary's future is secured. Ms Mendoza published this tweet a few hours after her original, which I consider very positive:

https://twitter.com/TheMendozaWoman/status/1157704160969670658

This is the way to beat operators like Ms Riley and behind-your-back campaigns like "Stop Funding Fake News" - by politely thanking them for drawing the matter to your attention, and then doing exactly the opposite of what they wanted.

And after saying that, it would be remiss of me to omit mention of my own campaign for funds to fight Ms Riley's hugely-expensive court case against me, based on a false claim that I have libelled her.

If you are unfamiliar with the details, they are here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

I originally set - and hit - a target of £25,000 in donations, but the costs keep racking up because Ms Riley seems determined to take this matter all the way, despite the wealth of evidence against her.

I'm asking supporters to take one or more of several actions:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge, at the same address as above: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

The threat is obvious. The solution clear. And who wouldn't want to be part of the solution?

Update 24

Mike Sivier

July 29, 2019

CrowdJustice has extended Mike's anti-libel campaign again!

This is terrific news!

CrowdJustice has extended the campaign to raise funds for me to fight the false libel accusations by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman. It will run for another month.

This means you can continue adding funds to the campaign throughout the summer and I can continue raising awareness about the issue, and carry on informing you about the latest developments.

I had no idea CrowdJustice was going to do this. I am delighted that the site's organisers have considered this campaign worthy of extension.

If you meet anybody who doesn't understand why I need the funds to get my case into court and defeat the libel action brought by Ms Riley, please direct them to her Twitter account - and also to Tracy Ann Oberman's.

Their behaviour on that platform should provide all the information anybody of good conscience really needs.

My campaign is still a few thousand pounds short of what we might call a comfort zone, so I still need you to help me out - if you're willing.

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If you use other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

This campaign will now continue to run throughout the summer. Let's keep it going strong!

Update 23

Mike Sivier

July 28, 2019

This man is terminally ill - but is backing Mike's libel fight

This contribution to my CrowdJustice campaign to fight false claims of libel by Rachel Riley absolutely staggered me:

"I have a terminal illness and wish to do my bit. I hope that the case is resolved before the inevitable so I see the smirk wiped off Ms Riley's face."

What a stunning example to set - and right at the end of this phase of the fundraising campaign.

The bad news is that the current crowdfunding campaign will end on July 30. I'm hoping it will have raised £32,000 by the end.

At the moment, more than 1,150 people have contributed an average of £20 each to raise more than £31,700. I definitely think we can hit that final target.

Here's how we hit it:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is <a href="https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/">https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/</a>

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Next time, I'll discuss the next steps.
Update 22

Mike Sivier

July 23, 2019

A hard 'SLAPP': Why helping Mike fight libel claim will stop abuse of the law

Have any of you heard of SLAPP before?

It's short for "Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation" and refers to lawsuits that are used to intimidate and silence journalists working in the public interest.

According to a recent letter in The Guardian, abuse of defamation law, including through SLAPP lawsuits, has become a serious threat to press freedom and advocacy rights in a number of countries, including the UK.

The legal claim against me, issued on July 9 by lawyers acting for Rachel Riley, is a clear example of a SLAPP lawsuit, in which a wealthy individual is apparently abusing the law in an attempt to silence a journalist and distract from the issues being discussed.

I wish I had known about the Guardian letter because I would have added my name to it.

It calls on the government to consider new legislation to prevent the abuse of defamation law to silence public interest reporting.

It also urges ministers to take a clear public stance condemning such practices and supporting investigative journalism and independent media. 

This ties in with the fact that I - an independent journalist (and carer) of limited means - am being sued by a very wealthy celebrity because UK defamation law allows it.

Ms Riley won't have to compensate me if her case is disproved (although she may face an order to pay a contribution toward my costs - which may come in handy if there is a shortfall between what I raise here and the cost of my defence).

In fact, it seems she won't lose anything more than dignity if she loses the case because she has taken out insurance against that eventuality.

I stand to win nothing. My case is purely defensive. I simply don't have the resources to mount a counter-claim (unless anyone knows better).

So, in the absence of laws to stop the wealthy abusing the justice system, I must rely on donations by members of the public - or I can't mount a defence.

Ms Riley seems to find this offensive. Apparently she considers this CrowdJustice campaign to be an aggravating factor in her case.

Personally, I think her case against me should be used as an aggravating factor in the evidence for reform to ban SLAPP lawsuits like this.

I also think the information above provides up to three good reasons for you to support me - and/or recruit other people to this valuable cause.

Guess what I'm going to ask you to do next?

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

You have done fantastically well so far. Let's keep it up - all the way to the end.

Update 21

Mike Sivier

July 23, 2019

Help Mike have his day in court - even if Rachel Riley doesn't want it

It seems clear Rachel Riley was hoping to bully me into submission before her excuse for a libel case ever got anywhere near a judge.

But now a courtroom clash between us is inevitable. She has filed proceedings and I have instructed my solicitors to respond.

The facts of the case will be heard by a judge - and by the national press, and it seems the general public may learn more about her than she would want.

If I win, she'll have to pay her legal team - and will probably have to pay a contribution to my costs.

In the unlikely event that I lose, she will still have to pay her legal team as I've hardly got a bean to my name. And, having suffered the bad publicity that a court hearing will generate, will she really take a chance on the public reaction when it is reported that she - a rich celebrity - is trying to drive a poverty-stricken carer into bankruptcy?

So I think I was right to believe this is a battle between wealth and justice - that she expected to win because I could not afford the expense of a court hearing.

The trouble is, I still can't afford it - yet. So Ms Riley may still have her way after all.

Everything depends on me being able to pay my legal team for a hearing.

We have already come a long way. Thanks to your help, my team has a case and we want it to be heard.

But we have to keep going - or wealth will defeat justice after all.

Will you take my appeal out again, to anyone who believes an honest man deserves a fair hearing?

You may know what comes next by heart:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself (but don't feel bad if you can't - I'm grateful for everything you've alread done).

The more we raise, the better the chance of winning.

And you've done so much already, I think we all deserve that chance.

Update 20

Mike Sivier

July 21, 2019

Time is running out! Don't let a false claim win because these celebs are rich

Rachel Riley may be taking me to court but I have a plan to deal with it. I just don't have enough cash yet.

It must seem a strange thing to say after hitting the stretch target on this CrowdJustice campaign, but the simple fact is that Ms Riley hasn't seen sense and is taking this matter all the way - because she can afford it.

And we don't know whether Tracy Ann Oberman will launch a separate case of her own, once this gets started - in order to cost me even more money that I don't have.

You see how sinister this is? How it is possible for rich people to buy court rulings in their favour?

My legal team and I have a plan to cut this nonsense short - but it will cost anything up to £10,000 more than we have now.

It is possible to raise this money. After I announced that Ms Riley had launched court proceedings, we raised £10,000 in a week. But we can't do it without you.

And this CrowdJustice campaign will end in eight days (at the time of writing).

We are so close to shutting down this - let's face it - frivolous waste of court time. Let's make these people think again.

Here's the important information (again):

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. The address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

This is important to many, many people - more than 1,000 of you have contributed already and I'm told this suggests that many more people support my fight - or will, if they know about it. Please help make sure they know about it.

Update 19

Mike Sivier

July 15, 2019

Did Rachel Riley's 'Durham Miners' tweet upset you? Support Mike's libel fight!

Rachel Riley wants you to believe she has been wrongly targeted by me with a claim that she bullied a teenage girl. Read this tweet and consider who you believe is right.

Yup - she compared the Durham Miners' Gala with a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.

And the organisers were not amused:

We're observing a pattern of behaviour that, in my view, is indefensible. That's probably why Ms Riley threatens litigation against anyone who points this out.

The Durham Miners' Association hasn't (at the time of writing) reached the point where court action is inevitable - but I have.

So if you know someone who has been infuriated by Ms Riley's treatment of the good people who organised, attended and performed at the Gala, please invite them to do one or all of the following:

Please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

It's only my personal opinion but I think that Ms Riley's behaviour is utterly unacceptable. If you agree, please spread the word about my campaign as widely as possible.

Update 18

Mike Sivier

July 15, 2019

If you hated the BBC's biased anti-Semitism doco, support Mike's libel fight!

My fight against Rachel Riley's libel accusations and the groundswell of rage against the BBC's hugely biased and unfair Panorama documentary, Is Labour Antisemitic?, have their roots in the same issue.

You can tell that they are related because the so-called whistleblowers who put their heads above the parapet to accuse Labour of anti-Semitism are now suing that party for libelling them in its response - using the same lawyer Rachel Riley hired to pursue me: Mark Lewis.

Labour's response stated: "It appears these disaffected former officials include those who have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, worked actively to undermine it and have both personal and political axes to grind. This throws into doubt their credibility as sources."

If the party has evidence to support these claims, then they form a perfectly reasonable statement of opinion.

The status of these people as whistleblowers will be highly contentious as they have to fulfil certain criteria to qualify. Whistleblowing may be done to employers who have a policy on such matters; by seeking legal advice; or by telling a "prescribed" person or body that deals with the issue they are raising.

It seems unlikely that a BBC reporter will be among the "prescribed" people dealing with issues relating to anti-Semitism, although I am prepared to be proved mistaken if necessary.

To close the circle: I was the victim of allegations of anti-Semitism. During the course of an 18-month-long investigation, details of the claims against me were leaked to the press several times, including a false accusation of Holocaust denial for which The Sunday Times had to make a lengthy correction earlier this year.

Developments to do with the controversy over the BBC documentary lead me to believe that my details may have been leaked by one of the former Labour employees quoted by Panorama.

If this is true, then there can be no claim that the provision of that - false - information to a third party was justified. This also calls into doubt all the other information that was used, eventually, to expel me from the Labour Party.

I have already contacted Labour, seeking clarity on this matter.

If you were offended by the claims aired in the BBC documentary, and you want to do something to make your feelings known, then may I strongly suggest you contribute to my campaign fund to fight Ms Riley's libel claim against me?

There is a strong connection between the false anti-Semitism accusations made by the former Labour employees and the false anti-Semitism accusation that lies at the heart of Ms Riley's claim against me. Note that Mr Lewis is the solicitor in both matters.

A victory for me will give all those people second thoughts.

So:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

If you believe in justice - and you think it is being subverted - then it is time to make a difference. Your donation could do that.

Update 17

Mike Sivier

July 13, 2019

Little things can make a huge difference - especially in Mike's libel case

The CrowdJustice campaign raising funds to fight libel claims against me (Mike Sivier) by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman has reached - and passed - its stretch target of £25,000. Thanks and well done, everyone!

Sadly Ms Riley has filed court proceedings individually and this means I need at least £10,000 more, in order to mount a successful initial defence. I may need much more later, if this celebrity persists in trying to prove that she has enough money to silence me.

(Because, let's face it, she doesn't have a case. She did what I said she did, and it had the consequences I described. Her entire strategy is to price me out of justice with expensive proceedings.)

That's why I am so grateful that more than 1,000 people have stood up to support me, with average donations of around £25.

But I wanted to say that the smaller donations are just as important as the larger ones. They show that justice has popular support.

That's why I have been dismayed to read some of the self-deprecating comments attached to the smaller donations: "Sorry I can't pledge more", "Wish I could give more", "It's all I can afford".

Those donations are just as valuable to me as the large amounts. Those of you who are digging deep to find something to give clearly value what I'm doing very much - and that is hugely important to me, and to this case.

It has been said that good journalism isn't writing what those in power want people to read - that's public relations. Good journalism is publishing what they don't want you to know.

It is hugely important to be able to demonstrate that people of all walks of life - especially those who don't have much to spare - value this.

If you can't afford more than a fiver - so what? If I had 1,000 such donations, I'd be halfway towards the sum I need to mount a successful defence against Ms Riley at the forthcoming preliminary hearing.

I would hate to think people were being put off because they don't think they can give enough.

So now I have to take you all back to the usual instructions:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Super-rich Rachel Riley wants more than £100,000 from me - despite the fact that I'm a carer with hardly two beans to rub together - not for justice but because she thinks she can. You are helping prove her wrong with your donations - no matter what the amount may be.

Update 16

Mike Sivier

July 12, 2019

Mrs Mike's emotional support for Vox Political writer against Riley lawsuit

Those of you who follow my Vox Political website will be aware that I am a carer for a person with a long term illness and disabilities - and I have to report that she isn't happy.

I don't think there's much to say beyond her own words, so her she is:

"Woke up bad after Mike got his letter saying Rachel Riley is taking him to court for standing up for a teenage girl she bullied.

"All I was thinking was what if he loses, what's going to happen to us, and it brought me down. It made me feel very anxious, on top of my own problems, and I just felt crap.

"I thought, I've been doing better every day lately, now I've come down again and it's putting extra strain on things but I'm also angry about people calling Mike a liar.

"He always checks the facts and he always does what's right so when I woke up I talked to him about it, and he asked if I wanted him to give up. NO!

"I'm too angry with her and the fact that she can't see what she's doing wrong."

So there you have it.

Mrs Mike suffers with anxiety-related illnesses - so she sympathises with the teenager Ms Riley bullied for obvious reasons.

I was grateful when she said I must keep fighting - more so when she started getting responses like this:

"I've never known Mike to lie about anything ever + I've known him about 15-20yrs he's a good + kind man luv to u both xx"

But I need funds, otherwise my fight will fall flat.

It's only two days since Ms Riley filed court proceedings against me and already my appeal is nearly £5,000 richer - but libel cases are fantastically expensive.

I hate to ask for more because it seems too much to ask, but there's nothing else for it. Get ready for the hard sell:

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

You have already shown me that you want me to keep fighting.

I need to be able to take this fight to the finish.

Update 15

Mike Sivier

July 11, 2019

Riley's followers try to 'dogpile' Mike over CrowdJustice page

In my previous update, I drew your attention to the fact that Rachel Riley's solicitor reckons my CrowdJustice page is an "aggravating" factor in the libel she reckons I have committed against her.

This information comes in a letter that doesn't actually assert that any of my claims about her are untrue.

Apparently my mention of the facts of the case here means the upset and harm caused to her was "greatly exacerbated".

It's nice to know this page is so popular (and it certainly does seem to be, as I'll explain shortly).

Her supporters' club - a network of Twitter trolls, mostly anonymous - was certainly watching when I reported that Ms Riley had filed proceedings against me. And they were desperate to put people off donating to my cause.

"Hey if you want to prove a fool and his money are easily separated then fund this racist who was expelled from labour. That’s right to [sic] antisemitic even for them," tweeted an anonymous troll calling him/herself 'The Caped Joo Sader. And he tagged in Ms Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman for good measure.

It was an obvious attempt to discourage you from helping me - and part of an attempted 'dogpile' - in which a co-ordinated group of Twitter trolls gang up on a victim and abuse that person in such a way that no response is possible.

And it failed spectacularly.

My appeal has gained more than £3,000 - in hundreds of new donations - in the slightly-more-than-24-hours since my last report.

I think the reason is clear from the following comment, made by a donor who shall remain heroic: "Solidarity! More people are rooting for you than you'll ever hear about."

I'm extremely grateful for every penny - and I need them all. With the next stage of this affair likely to cost more than £20,000 alone, I need at least another £13,000 to mount an effective defence.

So I have to repeat my appeal:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case. If you have, please email five more.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

Ms Riley wants to claim damages of £50,000, with more than £100,000 likely in costs - for the heinous crime of telling the world what she has done. Let's send her a clear message in response.

Update 14

Mike Sivier

July 9, 2019

Rachel Riley launches court proceedings - donate to the defence fund now!

Rachel Riley has filed proceedings against me for libel. She wants £50,000 plus costs - and her costs are likely to be a six-figure sum - along with an injunction for me not to repeat the claims against her that you can find here.

That is a terrifying amount of money for a person of modest means to face. Remember what I've been saying all along - that this is a matter of wealth trying to beat justice? I think that particular case has been proved.

She is also claiming that this crowdfunding page is an aggravating factor - that my appeal for help after she tried to bully me with her overwhelmingly superior funds has made matters worse. How do you feel about that?

She can only take money from me if she wins, though. And she won't win in court.

But we need to make sure this case gets to court.

Costs for a preliminary hearing are likely to be more than £20,000 - and after the work my legal team has done already, my fund stands at only a little more than £4,000.

So I need a bit of help.

I'm going to scrape around my savings and put everything I can into the fund, and I'm appealing for you to find whatever you can spare, to help get this into court - and then have Ms Riley's case struck out.

I can't go into the details, for obvious reasons, but my prospect of winning is good. So please help make it better.

You may be familiar with the following requests:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some more cash yourself.

I have spent the last few months urging others facing the same accusations to hold their nerve, and now I need to hold mine.

Your continued support will help me do that.

Update 13

Mike Sivier

June 27, 2019

Musician's apology proves this fight is about wealth v justice

Today a musician from the band Reverend & the Makers caved to pressure from the legal team representing Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman and apologised for commenting on the issue for which they have been trying to sue me for libel.

I'm not going to comment on the text of Jon McLure's apology because it won't have been written by him.

I can tell you that I know why he made it: He had been so badly intimidated by the threat of court action by the Riley/Oberman legal team that he said he was becoming ill.

He told me, and others, he felt he was drowning, and could not handle a court case.

So he gave these people exactly what they wanted - an apology, and financial reward, without the exposure that court would have cost them.

He didn't have the cash to fight a legal action, he said. The complainants did, of course.

Mr McLure is not to be criticised for his actions. His health was at risk.

And his story shows the situation is exactly as I have stated since I started this crowdfunding campaign: This is an attempt by wealthy people to create a false impression of their own virtue by abusing the justice system to intimidate people who don't have as much money as them.

Put simply, this is a battle between wealth and justice - and in the case of Mr McLure, justice has lost.

I have no intention of buckling in the face of such appalling behaviour.

If anything, it merely illustrates most graphically the reason for donating to my campaign.

So please forgive me for repeating what I have stated many times before:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

Please don't let the wealthy abuse the justice system to make more cash - and spread flattering falsehoods about themselves.

Update 12

Mike Sivier

June 20, 2019

No news is BAD news for Mike's libel defence - so please donate!

It is nearly two months since I or my solicitors heard anything from those acting for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman in their false claim of libel against me.

This does not mean they have given up. In fact, I think they are waiting to find out the result of my crowdfunding appeal before deciding whether to file proceedings against me.

It is a financial consideration, you see; it has nothing to do with whether I wrote anything defamatory about the two complainants - and we all know that I didn't, in any case.

I think they are waiting to see if I will have raised enough money to be able to defend myself against them in an expensive court case.

At the time of writing, it seems likely that I will not. Libel cases are incredibly expensive and donations to my CrowdJustice appeal have slowed to a trickle.

So my appeal today is for you to ask yourself: Do I want these two people to win, just because they are filthy rich? Am I happy to watch British justice lowering itself to the gutter in that way? Or will I do what I can to make sure that this does not happen?

Those of you who have donated already - many times, in some cases - have already done more than most. But you are best-placed to get the message out to the widest possible number of potential doners.

Here comes the important part that you may have read many times before:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

If the complainants file proceedings after this appeal closes, it will be too late for you to donate.

Please help give them a good reason to think twice about it.

Update 11

Mike Sivier

June 12, 2019

Libel case against Mike could drag on for another year so please donate

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that neither I nor my solicitors have heard anything from those acting for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman since late April. We sent a letter in early May that has received no response.

This suggests that they may have decided not to take any further action - and this would make sense as a court trial would involve discussion of the complainants' behaviour that would certainly prove to be deeply embarrassing to them.

The bad news is that the rules mean they may hold the threat of a trial over me until May 2020.

They have one year from the date I published my article to issue their claim form - and four months in which to issue it after that date.

This means I need to keep my defence fund topped up - which means I must ask you to keep donating to it and keep sharing the appeal so other people can find out about it and make their own contribution.

The response since I started this appeal has been overwhelming. I have no doubt that the fact it has received nearly 1,000 individual donations has given my opponents cause to reconsider their approach.

If they thought public opinion would be on their side, it seems clear they were wrong.

And as further posts on Twitter are solidifying views against them, it seems unlikely that public opinion will swing into their favour.

But I must plan for the possibility that they will continue their attack anyway.

Those of you who have been following this matter from the start may know the following by heart:

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

It seems we have the initiative at the moment. Let's not lose it.

Please help ensure this nonsense is squashed.

Update 10

Mike Sivier

June 6, 2019

Another own goal for Rachel Riley and her impressionable friends

One would have thought a woman who is keen to take dozens of people to court for libelling her would be more circumspect about defaming someone else, but that seems not to be the case for Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman.

It seems they have swallowed a Guido Fawkes fabrication about Jeremy Corbyn hook, line and sinker.

The Fawkes blog has published a smear piece for the D-Day 75th anniversary commemorations, claiming that Mr Corbyn endorsed calls for the UK to disarm during World War II, in an article he wrote in 2003.

But it neglects to mention that Mr Corbyn was reviewing a book about the late Labour MP George Lansbury, who did indeed call for disarmament at an alarming moment in history.

So Mr Corbyn did quote extracts from George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour, as he does here and as Guido quotes: “As war broke out in 1939 he wrote ‘I am also quite certain that the first great nation that declares its willingness to share the world’s resources, territories and markets and also disarms will be the safest in the world’

But he also wrote - omitted by Guido: “George lived out his years in frenetic activity for peace travelling across Europe and the United States preaching pacifism and calling for a world conference on economic justice. He controversially met both Hitler and Mussolini in this effort, to no avail. The dogs of war were already out”. That is hardly a ringing endorsement for Mr Lansbury's approach.

The paragraph that Guido claims shows Mr Corbyn's support for George Lansbury's views was in fact referring to the book, not the man: “I hope Tony Blair, on his travels on behalf of George Bush, reads at least that part of this wonderful work.

It was a comment on the book - and a dig at the warmongering of the then-Labour leader, who at the time was heavily involved in military adventures in the Middle East that ended up causing nothing but more trouble.

Ms Riley failed to check the context and swallowed Guido's story whole:

This is a woman, let's not forget, who is currently suing Labour officer Laura Murray for defamation over her tweet following the egg attack on Jeremy Corbyn in March, in which she endorsed the opinion "If you don't want eggs thrown at you, don't be a Nazi" with the words "Good advice". She is claiming that Ms Murray's observation that she was calling Mr Corbyn a Nazi is "an appalling distortion of the truth", we are told.

Yet her own Twitter feed shows her supporting an appalling distortion of the truth by the Guido Fawkes blog.

And so, it seems, did Ms Oberman.

If you can find the relevant tweets on their respective Twitter feeds, look at the number of people who have supported Ms Riley and Ms Oberman - more than 478 in the former case, 247 in the latter. That's a lot of gullible people who have been taken in by a lie - because people they revere have repeated it?

Fuller details of this affair may be found on Zelo Street.

These are the people who are trying to sue me for defamation. If you think they should not be allowed to get away with it - which seems clear from this evidence alone - please contribute to my defence fund. They have wealth; I do not.

If you haven’t done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Don't let them buy a win if you don't think they deserve it.

Update 9

Mike Sivier

June 4, 2019

Funds are rolling in but Riley is on her way to court

Nearly £1,000 has been added to my appeal for funds to fight false libel claims by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman, since CrowdJustice extended the campaign by 30 days.

We now have nearly £16,000. It's a brilliant start to the extension period and a huge step towards the stretch target of £25,000.

And it may be vital. Last weekend it was revealed that Ms Riley is launching court action for libel - against a Labour Party officer who drew what many consider to be a logical conclusion about one of her tweets.

Is Ms Riley likely to win? I don't think so. But it shows that she will go through with her threats of litigation.

So let's make sure that, if she tries it on me, she has a fight on her hands.

Followers of this issue will know that I believe the complainants in this case are hoping I will not be able to raise enough money to put up a reasonable defence against them, while they have the advantage of substantially larger cash reserves.

This is a battle between wealth and justice, with wealth being used to hide the facts.

Please help ensure that the facts cannot be denied.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Every penny helps. Every share on the social media helps. Please help.

Update 8

Mike Sivier

May 30, 2019

New lease of life for Mike's libel defence appeal

Just when I was getting ready to admit defeat, CrowdJustice has granted my funding campaign an extra 30 days.

The appeal - for funds to fight false allegations of libel by TV personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman - had raised £15,000 of its £25,000 "stretch" target, and I thought that was a very good result.

After all, I'm not a well-known celebrity - just a minor internet political commentator - and I had been accused by hugely-popular media darlings.

So 60 per cent of the "stretch" target, in the fact of determined attempts by some of their supporters to deny my claims and belittle my case, seemed an excellent result.

Would it be enough? I doubted it.

But it was a declaration that many people - nearly 1,000 - are not prepared to let wealthy celebrities make a mockery of the British justice system and it gave me hope that my opponents in this matter might reconsider their apparent plan to use their financial resources to stifle the facts.

And then I received an email from CrowdJustice saying my appeal would be automatically extended for another 30 days.

Now it is possible that we can reach that £25,000 target after all.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

I'm sure there are many more people who would be willing to help this struggle for justice against privilege.

Please help me find them - because I'm still determined not to apologise to two bullies for the results of their own ill-advised acts.

Update 7

Mike Sivier

May 26, 2019

New developments mean Mike's libel defence needs your support!

With just three days left in my crowdfunding appeal, my case is still developing and funds are still desperately needed.

I'm not at liberty to say what the latest developments are, but they are highly encouraging.

And this means that the need for funds to ensure this case can be heard is as great as ever.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is <a href="https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/">https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/</a>

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

The people who accused me of libel are continuing to behave in the same way that caused me to write about them in the first place.

They need to be sent a message - that what they are doing is wrong and that they must stop.

They won't do it of their own accord.

Please help me to make them see reason.

Update 6

Mike Sivier

May 25, 2019

Another milestone for Mike's libel defence appeal

My appeal for funds to fight false libel accusations by Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman reached another landmark yesterday: £14,000 raised!

I'm hugely grateful to the many hundreds of people who have contributed.

And with five days left before the end of the appeal, it is still possible to raise a significant amount more.

So please keep spreading the word, and encouraging as many people as possible to help

To recap: I have been accused of libel by TV personalities Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman after I published an article criticising their characterisation of a teenage girl with anxiety issues as an anti-Semite. The girl suffered harassment and intimidation as a result of their attention.

All the details are on this CrowdJustice page, so please make sure as many people as possible get to see the link: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

I'm not going to apologise to two bullies for the results of their ill-advised actions.

But the legal bill they are forcing on me, to fight the nonsense of a case they are making against me, would be crippling for a person of my limited means.

They know this. It seems to me that they are deliberately 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.

That is not justice. That is abuse of the justice system.

So I launched a crowdfunding appeal on the CrowdJustice website - initially aiming to raise £5,000 towards my own legal fees (I have already put £5,000 of my own money towards my defence).

Thanks to the generosity of the public, that £5,000 target was reached in a single day.

There's a "stretch" target of £25,000. Can it be reached in five days? I don't know.

Let's try.

If you haven't done so already, please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 

If you're on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

This is a struggle between wealth and justice.

Let's make sure justice wins.

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 - https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 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 https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 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: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ 

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: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/
  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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