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Leeds East MP wins £30,000 in libel damages against The Sun over Nazi band claim

Leeds East MP has won £30,000 in libel damages in a High Court action against The Sun over claims that a heavy metal band he performed with used Nazi imagery.

Credit: PA

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon claimed an April 2017 article which said he had joined a Leeds band that "delights in Nazi symbols" was "highly defamatory, false and unfair".

The Labour MP said an image tweeted by the band Dream Troll, which appeared to use the lightning bolt "S" from the logo of notorious Nazi paramilitary organisation the SS, was a "spoof" of Black Sabbath's 1975 album We Sold Our Soul For Rock 'n' Roll.

The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and political editor Tom Newton Dunn argued that the image was "strongly reminiscent of Nazi iconography" and Mr Burgon "demonstrated terrible misjudgment and exposed himself to ridicule".

Giving judgment at the High Court in London on Wednesday, Mr Justice Dingemans announced that he had ruled in favour of Mr Burgon and awarded him £30,000.

In a statement after the ruling, a spokesman for The Sun said the newspaper would be appealing against the ruling.

They said:

We are deeply disappointed by this judgment and we will be appealing.

"We fundamentally disagree with the judge's conclusions and, furthermore, fear they may act as a brake on the ability of the free press to hold those in power to account and to scrutinise the judgment of those who aspire to the highest offices in the land."

– Spokesman for The Sun