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Katie Hopkins 'very likely' to challenge libel ruling

Katie Hopkins has been forced to pay out costs and damages which total over £100,000. Credit: PA

Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins has said it is "very likely" that she will appeal the High Court libel action she lost.

On Friday Hopkins was ordered to pay damages of £24,000 to writer Jack Monroe.

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

Hopkins said on Radio 4 that she was strongly considering appealing the decision on the grounds of "no evidence of harm was produced in court".

She said: "There is absolutely no evidence that anybody believed the tweet that I wrote in the sense that it was in any way injurious to the claimant."

Hopkins added that she thought deleting and retracting her first post was "reasonable behaviour" and that the defamation bar was not at a "reasonable level".

During the hearing Katie's lawyer defended his client by saying in a written argument that Hopkins had "mistakenly" used Monroe's Twitter handle, instead of that of another columnist who had tweeted about the memorial incident.

Credit: PA

It was in 2015 that Hopkins 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 Monroe 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".

As well as the award to Monroe over defamatory "war memorial" tweets, former Apprentice star Hopkins will have to pay £107,000 in costs.

During the ruling, Mr Justice Warby said "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.