A Labour MP is suing the Mail on Sunday over a claim that he subjected a security guard to a foul-mouthed outburst.
Martyn Jones, who has held Clwyd South for 20 years, told Mr Justice Eady and a High Court jury yesterday that he was “flabbergasted” when he saw the MoS’s story in May last year.
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His counsel, Ronald Thwaites QC, said the newspaper had blown a “trivial” exchange between 60-year-old Jones and guard Chris Ham at Portcullis House in Westminster into a “full-scale international incident” and added: “It’s so boring in itself, it’s not worth bothering with, but someone spices it up, sexes it up, exaggerates it, and produces a gross distortion of the truth”.
Thwaites said that the article, headlined “Labour MP in foul-mouthed outburst at police guard”, contained a dozen untruths and was a vindictive attack on a hard-working conscientious career politician.
Jones was concerned that his prospects at the next election might be damaged if his constituents believed it and that political opponents might make capital out of it, he said.
“When I saw this article, I felt anger and disgust that anybody could print that kind of thing without any basis. I was churned up, angry and distressed,” Jones said.
Associated Newspapers denies libel and says its story was true. The hearing, at the High Court in London, was adjourned yesterday and continues today.