UK

Sir James Dyson loses libel claim against Daily Mirror publisher

Sir James Dyson sued for libel over an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Sir James Dyson sued for libel over an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Sir James Dyson has lost his libel claim against the publisher of the Daily Mirror.

The inventor, 76, gave evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice over two days in a trial against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over an article published in January 2022.

In the Daily Mirror article, journalist Brian Reade referred to the engineer as “the vacuum-cleaner tycoon who championed Vote Leave due to the economic opportunities it would bring to British industry before moving his global head office to Singapore”.

Mr Reade continued: “Kids, talk the talk but then screw your country and if anyone complains, tell them to suck it up.”

Sir James brought the High Court claim against MGN, describing the allegations in the article as a “vicious and vitriolic” personal attack.

But in a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Jay dismissed the inventor’s claim.

He said: “In the present case the Claimant cannot demonstrate that he has suffered financial loss as a result of these publications. Nor can he show that his philanthropic work, particularly directed to young people and schools, has been harmed in any way.”

During the trial, Justin Rushbrooke KC, for Sir James, said in written submissions that the articles, both in print and online, “constituted a serious and unjustified slur on Sir James’s reputation, business and personal”.

However, MGN defended the claim, including by arguing that Mr Reade’s article was “honest opinion”.

Adrienne Page KC, for MGN, said the words in the article were “substantially correct” and that Sir James could not dictate how the commentator posed them.