Katie Hopkins facing six-figure libel bill

File photo dated 16/12/16 of Katie Hopkins, as writer Jack Monroe is claiming damages from the controversial newspaper columnist finds out the result of her High Court action today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 10, 2017. Monroe, a food blogger who also campaigns over poverty issues, sued Hopkins over tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation. See PA story COURTS Hopkins. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
File photo dated 16/12/16 of Katie Hopkins, as writer Jack Monroe is claiming damages from the controversial newspaper columnist finds out the result of her High Court action today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 10, 2017. Monroe, a food blogger who also campaigns over poverty issues, sued Hopkins over tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation. See PA story COURTS Hopkins. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Controversial columnist Katie Hopkins faces a six-figure bill after losing a libel action brought against her over two of her tweets.

She was ordered by a High Court judge yesterday to pay £24,000 damages to writer Jack Monroe.

Food Blogger Jack Monroe leaving the High Court in central London where she has won �24,000 damages in a High Court action against controversial newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins over tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 10, 2017. Monroe who also campaigns over poverty issues, sued Hopkins over two "war memorial" tweets, asking a judge in London to find she was "defamed" by the former Apprentice contestant. See PA story COURTS Hopkins. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Food Blogger Jack Monroe leaving the High Court in central London where she has won �24,000 damages in a High Court action against controversial newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins over tweets she said caused "serious harm" to her reputation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 10, 2017. Monroe who also campaigns over poverty issues, sued Hopkins over two "war memorial" tweets, asking a judge in London to find she was "defamed" by the former Apprentice contestant. See PA story COURTS Hopkins. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

As well as the award to Monroe over defamatory “war memorial” tweets, former Apprentice star Hopkins will have to pay costs running into six figures.

She was ordered by Mr Justice Warby at a hearing in London to pay £107,000 on account of costs within 28 days.

Food blogger Monroe, 28, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, complained that the tweets posted in May 2015 accused her of “vandalising a war memorial and desecrating the memory of those who fought for her freedom, or of approving or condoning such behaviour”.

Hopkins’ answer to the claim was that her tweets did not bear the meanings complained of, were not defamatory and that it had not been shown that they caused serious harm to Monroe’s reputation.

After the ruling in her favour, Monroe tweeted: “It’s taken 21 months but today the High Court ruled that Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory. I sued her for libel. and I won.”

The case arose afollowing the daubing of a memorial to the women of the Second World War in Whitehall with the words “F*** Tory scum”.

Hopkins claimed she had “mistakenly” used Monroe’s Twitter handle instead of that of another columnist who had tweeted about the incident.

But the judge ruled that the tweets had “not only caused Ms Monroe real and substantial distress, but also harm to her reputation”.

Speaking after the decision was announced, Monroe said: “It has been a very long and very arduous process. There have been many times when I have almost given up and walked away. But I started something and I had to see it through, and I have done.”

Monroe’s lawyer, Mark Lewis, a partner at Seddons solicitors, said she had “finally been vindicated in full from the libellous and wholly false accusation by Katie Hopkins that she had supported the vandalisation of a war memorial”.

He added: “Jack Monroe never did, and coming from a proud military family, never would.”

Mr Lewis said: “The price of not saying sorry has been very high. Hopkins has had to pay out of her own pocket a six-figure sum in damages and costs for a tweet that should have been deleted within minutes as soon as she was told it was wrong.”

He said: “Hopkins claimed that Twitter was just the Wild West where anything goes. The judge has shown that there is no such thing as a Twitter outlaw.”