Daily Mail writer sues Telegraph over “vendetta” claim

Journalist and councillor Glenys Roberts has won an apology and damages from the Daily Telegraph over a story which she argued implied that she used her influence as a councillor to conduct a “personal vendetta”.

Roberts, who writes features for the Daily Mail, sued via solicitor David Price over a story from 12 December headlined “Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?”

According to a statement in open court – agreed between the two parties and read out today by Price: “Ms Roberts is a well-known journalist and is a councillor at Westminster City Council. She lives in an apartment in Mount Street, Mayfair. Scott’s restaurant occupies the ground floor of the building.

“The article concerned a dispute over noise levels that Scott’s was facing with the claimant and some of its other Mayfair neighbours.

“The article may have been understood to suggest, wrongly, that the claimant might be inclined to use her influence as a Westminster councillor as part of a personal vendetta against Scott’s.

“In fact, the claimant was not acting as a councillor but as a resident and director of the of the management company legally responsible for protecting the interests of her own and other residences above the restaurant.

“The defendant also accepts that the claimant has no vendetta against Scott’s and that contrary to the article she has not led crusades to ban Christmas lights from Mount Street and local children from playing in its gardens.

“The defendant has agreed to publish an apology to the claimant in the Daily Telegraph, agreed to the reading of this statement, paid her a sum in damages and her legal costs and undertaken not to repeat the allegations complained of.

“While the claimant would have preferred that the article had never been published, she is pleased that her claim has been resolved and feels suitably vindicated.”

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