A UK Member of Parliament has, on House of Commons headed paper, threatened a constituent with a libel claim.
Brian Jenkins MP sent this extraordinary letter after the constituent sent a critical letter to a local newspaper. It appears that rather than just correcting the factual error, and providing supporting evidence, Mr Jenkins makes a heavy-handed threat of a libel action.
Libel is (supposedly) about reputation. I wonder where this letter now leaves the very reputation which Mr Jenkins was seeking to protect.
For further information go to Iain Dale's Blog.
(For non-UK readers, Iain Dale's Blog is one of the top two or three UK political Blogs and he very kindly permitted me to copy the letter above on this site.)
Mr Jenkins once described as cowardly those MPs who used the protection of parliamentary privilege to make otherwise defamatory claims "against ordinary working people in this country" - see BBC report here .
The actual passage from Hansard (the official record of House of Commons debates) is:
Mr. Brian Jenkins (Tamworth) (Lab):
Can my right hon. Friend find Government time for a debate in this Chamber on the use of privilege?
We all know that privilege is used to stop rich individuals out there using the threat of legal action to prevent Members from raising issues here, but it cannot be right for Members to make allegations against ordinary working people in this country.
That cowardly use of privilege only detracts from the status of every Member of this House.