Liverpool bomb: Jeremy Corbyn gets damages over fake photo tweet

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Mr Corbyn said he would donate the payment to charities "close to my heart"

A Conservative councillor has agreed to pay "substantial" damages and legal costs to former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for posting a defamatory tweet.

Paul Nickerson has also apologised for the doctored tweet which showed Mr Corbyn at the scene of the Liverpool bomb attack.

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council member has resigned from the local Conservative group.

Mr Corbyn said the damages would be donated to charity.

Mr Nickerson said he had taken "full responsibility" for the fake photo, which showed Mr Corbyn laying a poppy wreath near the burning taxi outside Liverpool Women's Hospital.

The Tweet was captioned with the word "unsurprisingly".

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Nickerson said the post gave the "completely untrue impression" that the Islington North MP supported terrorist violence and said the tweet was "wrong".

He added: "I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Mr Corbyn for the hurt and distress that has been caused to him by the tweet."

"I entirely accept that the posting of the message the day after Remembrance Sunday aggravated the hurtful nature of the defamatory tweet."

He also said in a Facebook statement that his previous denial about sending the tweet, claiming his account had been hacked, was a panicked knee-jerk reaction.

Mr Corbyn said: "The bomb attack on Liverpool Women's Hospital on Remembrance Sunday was a horrific crime, which could have killed or maimed countless victims, including new mothers and their babies.

"Councillor Paul Nickerson's Photoshopped Twitter post about me failed to understand the seriousness of the threat and did a disservice to all those affected by the attack and their loved ones."

He said he would use the settlement to support charities "close to my heart".

Image source, East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Image caption,
Paul Nickerson said the fake photo he tweeted was "wrong"

"I welcome his decision to apologise for his defamatory post, to agree not to repeat the tweet, which he has deleted, and to pay substantial damages and legal costs," Mr Corbyn added.

In a statement last week, Jonathan Owen, leader of the Conservative group on East Riding Council, said "inappropriate remarks" would not be tolerated.

Mr Owen said: "Following an inappropriate and offensive message, which appeared on councillor Paul Nickerson's Twitter feed, I have suspended him from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservative group with immediate effect and an investigation will now take place."

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