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.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 11:38 am
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.

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“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.

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