DIARY: There’s still no light at the end of the Tunnel in long-running libel saga

The libel case brought by Evening Standard journalist Mira Bar-Hillel against lobbyist Maureen Tomison of Decision Makers (PR Week 24 February) rumbles on.

The libel case brought by Evening Standard journalist Mira Bar-Hillel

against lobbyist Maureen Tomison of Decision Makers (PR Week 24

February) rumbles on.



The action, you may remember, concerns comments made by Tomison when

giving evidence to the Nolan Committee with Dame Angela Rumbold - Tory

party vice-chairman and formerly a director of DM - about DM’s lobbying

campaign for Blue Circle over the Ebbsfleet Chunnel station.



DM’s work, and Rumbold’s part in it, were the subject of several

articles in the Evening Standard.



I hear Tomison has now dispensed with the services of libel lawyer

extraordinaire Andrew Stephenson, of Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, and

is to defend herself against Bar-Hillel and the Evening Standard.



‘Unfortunately we can’t make any comment on the matter,’ says a

spokesman for DM. But Stephenson was a little more forthcoming.



‘It’s not a case of falling out in any shape or form nor have I enquired

into the finances of it,’ he tells me.



‘It is a question of looking at the cost-benefit analysis of continuing

to instruct us to deal with the case.’ Which, when you add in the cost

of hiring a barrister, could easily add up to pounds 50,000 for a two

week trial.



However, says Stephenson, ‘Mrs Tomison remains a client’ and should she

require further advice ‘I would be happy to give it’.



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