Leeds MP Richard Burgon uses libel payout from The Sun to fund 'justice placements'

A Leeds MP is using the £30,000 in damages he won from a national newspaper to fund two placements for staff to help him in his work as Shadow Justice Secretary.

By Rob Parsons
Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 12:49 pm
Leeds East MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon
Leeds East MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon

Richard Burgon, Labour MP for Leeds East, won the libel case against The Sun in February, after a story was published claiming a heavy metal band he had played with used Nazi imagery in an album promotion.

The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and political editor Tom Newton Dunn, were ordered to pay £30,000 in damages after the court ruled in favour of Leeds East MP Mr Burgon.

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Leeds MP Richard Burgon wins ‘Nazi’ libel case against The Sun

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Following the ruling, the tabloid vowed it would appeal the decision but the Rt Hon Lord Justice Haddon-Cave rejected the appeal.

Mr Burgon is using the £30,000 to pay for two justice placements in his Westminster office, paid the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour.

The first placement will run for 9 months starting in October, and applications opened yesterday, the second placement will be advertised in Spring 2020 with a view to starting in October 2020.

The job application says the successful applicant will support Mr Burgon by researching, analysing and developing justice policy, assisting on campaigns and preparing briefings and "developing a keen understanding of the operation of our justice system".

It says: "The ideal candidate will be friendly and enthusiastic, highly organised with strong communication skills and attention to detail, able to work on their own and as part of a wider team, with a good understanding of the challenges facing communities like the constituency Richard represents and keen to develop an understanding of how politics shapes the laws that govern us."

Mr Burgon took the newspaper to court after the story claimed his band Dream Troll "delights in Nazi symbols" after they tweeted album artwork with an "S" which looked similar to that used by Nazi paramilitary organisation the SS.

The MP argued the symbol was a "spoof" of Black Sabbath's 1975 album "We Sold Our Soul for Rock'n'Roll".

The court accepted submissions from Mr Burgon's barrister Adam Speker that The Sun had "manufactured a knowingly false and misleading story" by "doctoring the image published by the band".

Those wishing to apply for the placement should do so by sending a CV and a covering letter setting out their eligibility for the role to [email protected] before the closing date of 25 August. More details are available at http://www.w4mpjobs.org/JobDetails.aspx?jobid=72141.