The Daily Mail has today admitted it had wrongly blamed Labour for compensation paid to a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.

UK national Jamal Udeen al-Harith, earlier known as Ronald Fiddler, came into focus yesterday after it emerged he had joined ISIS and was behind a suicide attack on behalf of the terrorist organisation.

The Daily Mail and The Sun newspaper blamed the Labour party and Tony Blair for the £1m compensation paid to him after his release from Gauntanamo Bay.

But it turned out that the compensation had been agreed by Theresa May in 2010.

The Mail admits today:

The headline on an early version of our story about the payment of £1million compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ronald Fiddler suggested the decision to make the payment had been taken by Tony Blair’s Government. In fact the decision to pay compensation was made by the Coalition Government in 2010. We are happy to set the record straight and apologise for the misunderstanding.

It wasn’t just the Coalition government, it was Theresa May’s department more specifically.

And the Mail won’t admit it directly campaigned for the release of the Guantanamo detainees too.

The Sun newspaper initially blamed Blair in its headline but changed it after Blair pointed out it was untrue.

Today the Tories are desperately refusing to comment on the matter.

What do they have to hide?

  1. Would it be that silly to suggest that telling lies is not allowed? So, should a politician, heaven forbid, tell us something that he or she knows is wrong, or a newspaper do the same could we not have an automatic fine, suspension etc?

    Currently, it is OK to lie if you are in public life.

  2. ‘Matter of public interest’ is a defence against defamation. And allows us to opine that Dacre is an arsehole without our having to produce evidence that he is, in reality, comprised of sphinctral matter.

  3. The Scouse Git says:

    I’m no expert, but as I understand things, in this case it would be libel – slander relates to unrecorded defamation.

    The plaintiff (Mr. A.Blair) would then have to be able to satisfy a court that not only has an ‘untruth’ been published of him, but that it has fundamentally demeaned his reputation. A defendant could well argue that Mr. Blair’s reputation has otherwise been fundamentally demeaned by his own actions, and that the newspaper reports did not serve to undermine it further.

  4. Well done Scouse Git!
    This is the perfect example of the irrationality furling Trump and Farage..even when they’re proven categorically to be wrong their diehard supporters will still believe they’re right.
    Wonderful that there are such people around who can’t entertain 2 contradictory ideas in their heads at once……..

  5. There’s also a question of dispute over the actual amount paid. Al-Harith’s family believe the quoted value was actually the total sum paid across all of the British Guantanamo Bay detainees, and that it also included “costs” – presumably legal bills. Once that’s all divvied up (and presumably the other detainees are recognised as innocent people) then the amount at stake will be much lower.

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