Jack Monroe wins £24,000 damages from Katie Hopkins in libel case

Writer Jack Monroe has won £24,000 damages in a High Court libel action against controversial columnist Katie Hopkins.

Monroe, who writes about food online, sued over a series of tweets in 2015 by Hopkins, during a debate on Twitter after a memorial was vandalised during an anti-austerity demonstration.

Hopkins - who had hundreds of thousands of followers at the time - tweeted: "@MsJackMonroe scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?"

The food blogger took legal action over what her lawyer said was a "widely published allegation" that she had either vandalised a war memorial or "condoned or approved" the act, an allegation causing "serious damage to reputation".

Lawyer Jonathan Price, for Hopkins, told the judge the case was a "relatively trivial dispute" which was "resolved on Twitter in a period of several hours".

He argued there was "no lasting harm, and certainly no serious harm", to Monroe's reputation as a result.

But Mr Justice Warby ruled "whilst the claimant may not have proved that her reputation suffered gravely, I am satisfied that she has established that the publications complained of caused serious harm to her reputation".

He said the tweets "not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation which was serious", and assessed suitable compensation as £24,000.

Mr Justice Warby added that the tweets had "meanings with a defamatory tendency, which were published to thousands", and said that the case could "easily have been resolved at an early stage" with an offer to settle for £5,000.

Monroe tweeted that the High Court "ruled that Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory".