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Labour drops £1.5m lawsuit against Corbyn aides accused of leaking report

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LABOUR will lose millions of pounds after ditching a bungled lawsuit against five of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest advisors.

Staff including the former leader’s media chief Seamus Milne had been accused of leaking an internal report on antisemitism and “conspiring” against Sir Keir Starmer.

Seumas Milne, left, was one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest advisors and denied leaking the report

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Seumas Milne, left, was one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest advisors and denied leaking the reportCredit: Getty
Karie Murphy, right, was also named in the suit which was abandoned this morning

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Karie Murphy, right, was also named in the suit which was abandoned this morningCredit: AFP – Getty

The dropping of the £1.5m case will heap more misery on Sir Keir after members of Labour’s executive committee accused him of wasting funds that could have been used to fight the election.

The unredacted 860-page paper was leaked online and sent to journalists in April 2020 – the same month Starmer became leader.

It alleged employees who were opposed to Corbyn’s leadership worked against him, damaged the party’s chances at the polls and blitzed senior officials with abusive messages. 

Accused Corbyn aides included his chief of staff, Karie Murphy, and Mr Milne, who ran the ex-leader’s press campaigns.

The others were Georgie Robertson, Laura Murray and Harry Hayball.

Despite an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office failing to find a leaker, Labour still brought a lawsuit against the five over claims they helped the report be published.

The staffers repeatedly denied the “baseless allegations” and maintained that two Labour probes, including one by an external lawyer, had found no evidence they were responsible. 

The party had already asked the High Court to postpone a crunch showdown on the lawsuit to February 2025.

In a joint statement this morning, Labour and law firm Carter Ruck said: “The Party is discontinuing its legal claims against Karie Murphy, Seumas Milne, Georgie Robertson, Harry Hayball and Laura Murray on a ‘no order as to costs’ basis.

“The five welcome the resolution of the claims”.

The report was supposed to be a submission from Labour to an Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation.

The body eventually concluded Labour had breached the Equality Act.

Labour National Executive Committee member Mish Rahman accused his party of spending millions on the case which could’ve been used on election campaigning.

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He told PoliticsHome: “This pointless and vindictive failed lawsuit is another example of Starmer allowing his bully boys to get carried away with their war on the left when it’s clearly not in the party’s electoral or financial interests to do so.”

The development will pile more pressure on Sir Keir Starmer, himself an ex-barrister

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The development will pile more pressure on Sir Keir Starmer, himself an ex-barristerCredit: Getty
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