A Ukip MEP has been ordered to pay more than £150,000 in libel and slander damages after alleging that three Labour MPs knew about the widespread abuse of children in Rotherham but deliberately chose to do nothing.
The high court in London ordered Jane Collins to pay £54,000 each to Sarah Champion, Kevin Barron, and John Healey, the MPs for Rotherham, Rother Valley and Wentworth and Dearne respectively.
Collins, an MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, made the comments in a speech to Ukip’s annual conference in Doncaster in September 2014.
The judge Mr Justice Warby said Collins alleged that each of the MPs had known many of the details of the exploitation of more than 1,000 children in Rotherham over a 16-year period but had chosen to not act.
Collins argued in her speech that the MPs had failed to speak out about the abuse carried out mostly by Asian men because of political correctness, cowardice or selfishness, and were thus guilty of grave misconduct.
“The abusers time and time again walked away. And why? It was because of their Asian origin,” Collins said in the speech.
Gavin Millar QC, representing the MPs, said the allegations led to his clients being targeted repeatedly on social media before the 2015 general election.
“The impact of the allegations on the claimants was extremely grave,” he said. “They caused immense damage and made the whole election extremely stressful for each of the claimants.”
In a statement announcing the legal action…