Naomi Long launches legal action over ‘smears and lies’

Alliance leader Naomi Long has announced she is taking legal action during a Twitter exchange where she complained about “smears and lies” posted on social media.

By Mark Rainey
Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:38 am
Naomi Long
Naomi Long

The justice minister’s comments come just days after BBC broadcaster Stephen Nolan revealed he has launched a series of legal actions following years of online abuse.

In a Twitter message on Monday morning Mrs Long rejected suggestions that a Twitter troll who abused Stephen Nolan – and has now agreed to pay £100,000 in damages – is likely to have been an Alliance supporter.

Referring to the still anonymous ‘Pastor Jimberoo’ Twitter user, Mrs Long said: “I got a fair bit of harassment and abuse from the Pastor myself. Sadly, in politics smears and lies need to pass a higher threshold to take action.

“Anonymity often enables abuse. However, despite all that, I’ve still had to take legal action in the last few days.”

On Friday, Stephen Nolan revealed that a second person operating an anonymous social media account had agreed to pay a “five-figure” sum in damages after being identified and confronted.

The Nolan Show host also said that court actions are being prepared in relation to another two online abuse cases.

Mrs Long has said she cannot comment further on her legal action at this point.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe