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Katie Hopkins loses High Court bid to challenge libel defeat but could still go to Court of Appeal

By PA Media Lawyer

Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins has been refused permission to appeal a High Court libel action which landed her with a six-figure bill.

On March 10 Hopkins was ordered to pay £24,000 damages to food blogger Jack Monroe .

The LBC radio presenter, who faces a costs bill running into six figures, was also ordered to pay £107,000 on account within 28 days.

Monroe, 28, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, complained that two tweets sent by Hopkins in May 2015 accused her of “vandalising a war memorial and desecrating the memory of those who fought for her freedom, or of approving or condoning such behaviour”.

Hopkins’ defence was that her tweets did not bear the meanings complained of, were not defamatory and it had not been shown that they caused serious harm to Monroe’s reputation.

But Mr Justice Warby ruled in Monroe’s favour and said the publications “not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation which was serious”.

In a ruling made public on Wednesday, the judge said he had no jurisdiction at such a late stage to deal with an application made this week by Hopkins for permission to appeal over the damages award.

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He added that in any event he would have refused permission as he did not consider any of the four grounds of appeal to have a real prospect of success.

The judge also said that it would not be appropriate to stay payment of the £107,000 and the assessment of the costs.

Hopkins can still pursue her application to appeal directly with the Court of Appeal.

The former Sun writer told BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show earlier this month that she believed the bar for libel action “could not be lower”.

Picture: LBC

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