Guido can reveal Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has been awarded a stunning £338,000 payout after winning a libel case against Iranian state television channel Press TV. The channel had falsely accused Zahawi, who is of Kurdish background and was born in Iraq, of facilitating the trade of oil between ISIS and Israel. Press TV has been ordered to pay Zahawi £200,000 in damages and over £138,000 in costs after the judge described the defamatory allegations as “exceptionally grave”. The fake news story was shared by Tommy Robinson, who tweeted “Another bent Muslim politician??”, and Labour parliamentary candidate John Clarke.
Zahawi says in a statement:
“The ludicrous allegation that I, while a Member of Parliament, had firstly betrayed all of my deepest held moral principles, and secondly had somehow managed to avoid international security services, and the law, to personally trade oil with Daesh was of course completely untrue…
In my role as a member the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have often spoken out against the malign influence Iran has so often chosen to exercise in international affairs. It was of particular note that the libellous article was published on the exact same day that I had publicly criticised Iran in Parliament.
I hope that this libel judgment can draw a line under this episode and deter outlets such as Press TV, and by extension states such as Iran, from attempting this sort of attack on anyone again.”
Jeremy Corbyn no longer the MP who will have received the most cash from the Iranian state. Slightly different circumstances though.