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Labour to table Lords libel law amendment

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 19, 2013 | 1 min read

The Labour party has announced it is to launch a fresh bid to amend libel laws in the House of Lords next week in an effort to prevent big business from using legislation to muffle critics.

To do so they will table an amendment to the defamation bill which is up for debate this Tuesday, reinstating a clause which was removed by the Conservatives that would limit libel action to cases in which organisations can prove they’ve suffered ‘substantial’ financial damage.

Critics of Britain’s libel laws have long complained that they have been used to gag journalists with cases involving Tesco, The Guardian and an American medical firm which sued cardiologist Peter Wilmshurst.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said: “We will continue to exert pressure on the government to improve the bill, so that corporations stop their chilling effect on free speech.”

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