On 29 and 30 April 2016 Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail Online, wrote a series of tweets about me which have since been deleted. These feature in my libel defence and it would be extremely useful to be able to recover them. His twitter stream on those days also included several of his followers falsely calling me an anti-Semite and other awful stuff, and it would be most useful to recover those too.
More generally there was much evidence in Mr Wallis Simons’ twitter stream in the months and years prior to 29 April 2016 of he or his followers making allegations of anti-Semitism widely. Any of that which could be recovered would also be extremely helpful.
The date when material was deleted is extremely important – perhaps even more important to me than the recovery of the material itself. Mr Wallis Simons now has an app which deletes all his tweets at a 2 month cut-off date. I need to discover when that app came into operation on his account and material started to vanish.
For the record, I have directly asked his lawyer these questions, twice, in writing, and have received the reply that these questions are irrelevant to the case against me.
Nothing in the above or the rest of this article imputes any wrongdoing, ill motive or illegal activity to Dr Wallis Simons or to his lawyer, Mr Mark Lewis. His lawyer, Mr Lewis, has bad luck because in another recent high profile libel case, Monroe vs Hopkins, he also found that his client, Ms Monroe, gained an unwanted advantage from installing a twitter deleting app that was at least similar in operation. Interestingly she installed this after Mr Lewis had started advising her. This led to para 84 of the judgement:
84. The second point is that there have been difficulties over disclosure especially on the claimant’s side, of which others should take note. The deletion of the First Tweet, at Ms Monroe’s request, meant the Twitter Analytics were unavailable. And Ms Monroe’s Twitter records were extensively deleted. I am not able to attribute responsibility for that on the basis of the evidence, and I do not. What I can say is that this highlights in the Twitter context the responsibility of a litigant to retain and preserve material that may become disclosable, and the responsibility of a solicitor to take reasonable steps to ensure that the client appreciates this responsibility and performs it.
I can never think of libel without thinking of poor martyred Oscar Wilde. As Oscar might have said:
To lose one client’s tweets may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.
Any evidence you can find me of the content of the deleted tweets and when they vanished, as outlined above, would be very helpful. I am often struck by the astonishing variety of skills possessed by readers of this blog, and I am sure we will find that internet forensics are among them. It is also interesting how often people happen to screenshot things which interest them.
More than 4,000 people have to date contributed to my defence fund and I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I am by gratitude.
Feel free to post your discoveries in comments below but please avoid possibly libellous assertions. It would be helpful if you could in addition send me potentially useful material through the contact box top right of the blog.
I continue urgently to need contributions to my defence in the libel action against me by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of Daily Mail online. You can see the court documents outlining the case here. I am threatened with bankruptcy and the end of this blog (not to mention a terrible effect on my young family). Support is greatly appreciated. An astonishing 4,000 people have now contributed a total of over £75,000. But that is still only halfway towards the £140,000 target. I realise it is astonishing that so much money can be needed, but that is the pernicious effect of England’s draconian libel laws, as explained here.
On a practical point, a number of people have said they are not members of Paypal so could not donate. After clicking on “Donate”, just below and left of the “Log In” button is a small “continue” link which enables you to donate by card without logging in.
For those who prefer not to pay online, you can send a cheque made out to me to Craig Murray, 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. As regular readers know, it is a matter of pride to me that I never hide my address.