Former Brexit chief calls for government action to curb SLAPP

Former Brexit chief David Davis has called on the government to take urgent action to halt the so-called Strategic Action Against Public Participation (SLAPPs). British media.

Campaigners against SLAPP say it is an injunction used by wealthy corporations and individuals to suppress public interest journalism.

Davis used parliamentary privilege to file a lawsuit against Jusun Technologies (JTL), a UK-based company. The firm claims the Telegraph, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Open Democracy have ties to former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

JTL has served a legal letter denying any relationship with Nazarbayev, claiming the allegations are inaccurate and causing financial loss to British companies.

Labor MP Christian Matheson said he had submitted written questions to parliament about the impact of SLAPPs on “media freedom” and was contacted by JTL’s lawyers and asked to withdraw the questions.

Davis said, “They clearly don’t understand congressional privilege. Second, what they’re doing is… trying to stifle free speech and transparency in this country.”

“SLAPPs … are a form of bullying.”

In an adjourned debate in the House of Commons on Monday, Justice Minister Gareth Johnson said: Bullying is a form of bullying that needs to be stopped and stopped through the law. ”

MPs on both sides of the House called on the government to make amends Economic Crime and the Corporate Transparency Bill— currently being passed by Congress — to include restrictions on SLAPPs.

Johnson said the government’s proposal was “not ready for the oven,” but said the Justice Department was working to implement legislation.

Several parliamentarians said they would submit an amendment to the bill to outlaw SLAPP.

Labor MP and former Minister Margaret Hodge said: I would say, he would be arguing behind the scenes for years and years to get time for legislation.

“The opportunity is there, the need is there,” she told Johnson.

Johnson said he could not give her that promise, and said the government’s position would be better off enacting a single law on the matter.

“This stage of legislation is still being drafted, and as a result, we are not ready to go straight to another legislation now before the House of Representatives if we wish,” he said.

Mr Davis said: If he can turn to us… at some point in the near future, and say, “Yes, we’re going to do that in this session, yes, we’re going to do it soon,” he’s an economic crime. Bills move forward much easier than they otherwise would. ”

Last month, Jusan Technologies published statement “JTL emphasizes that it is not seeking to silence truthful journalism in the public interest in these cases. can’t chant

“However, it is wrong to link JTL to allegations of corruption on the part of Mr. Nazarbayev, as the article in question continues to this day. That is the basis of these lawsuits,” he added. rice field.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.