Conservative MP Jacqui Lait loses libel hearing over expenses

The Evening Standard reports:

The Evening Standard has won a significant victory in a High Court libel battle brought by a Conservative MP.

Jacqui Lait, MP for Beckenham, had sued over an article headlined “Women MPs will be put off by Kelly reforms”.

Mr Justice Eady today struck out elements of her claim and ordered her to pay £10,400 legal costs.

The November 2009 article correctly pointed out Ms Lait had claimed “large sums” to travel to her family home in Sussex even though her constituency home is only 11 miles from Westminster…

The judge said it was “unreal to suggest that readers of the Evening Standard would not think the worse of an MP who had taken advantage of (or “milked”) the expenses system simply because he or she had stayed within the letter of the law.”

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