The law firm representing Bradford West MP George Galloway in potential libel claims has denied any wrongdoing over letters sent to individuals commenting on Twitter.
The national media today reports that complaints have been sent to the Solicitors Regulation Authority regarding the conduct of Bradford firm Chambers Solicitors.
Twitter users who commented on Galloway’s appearance on BBC Question Time last month are reported to have received £6,000 libel demands from solicitors acting for the MP.
In a statement to the Gazette, Chambers Solicitors said it has acted on its client’s instructions to send letters in accordance with the pre-action protocol.
Mohammed Ayub, of Chambers Solicitors, said: ‘It is denied that we have breached any SRA rules and we have at all times acted in accordance with our professional and regulatory obligations.
‘Clearly we cannot conduct litigation in the press because that would be against our client’s interest and no doubt breach our regulatory obligations.
‘This in our view is a non-news story and regrettably the media has decided to only present one side of the story and ignore our client’s right to defend himself if he believes that he has been libelled.’
A Twitter user called @SuedByGalloway has offered help, support and advice to people who have received letters from Galloway (pictured). By Wednesday afternoon the user had more than 1,000 followers.
Solicitor and libel expert Mark Stephens, from London firm Howard Kennedy, is reported to be defending several people who have received the letters. He told the Guardian that the relatively low number of followers of those who tweeted messages relating to Galloway may mean the threshold of ‘substantial publication’ that warrants legal action in defamation cases is not met.
Libel lawyer Mark Lewis, a partner at London firm Seddons, has also made contact with those seeking advice on the libel letters.
Galloway had tweeted to Lewis on Monday that the lawyer was ‘supposed to be representing me on phone hacking’, but Lewis later tweeted that he did not represent the MP and had no confidential information about him.