A KIRKLEES MP who sued a newspaper for libel has settled out of court.
It emerged yesterday that Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik had dropped his case against The Press in the town.
The Labour man had sued the paper’s publishers, NewsPost, former editor Danny Lockwood and former Conservative councillor Jonathan Scott over allegations made after the Kirklees elections in May, 2006.
A spokesman for Mr Malik said yesterday that more details of the settlement would be released in a few days.
Mr Malik had said that a letter written by Mr Scott and printed in The Press in May, 2006, had defamed him.
He also said an article in the paper the following week was also defamatory.
Mr Malik had argued that both pieces in the Dewsbury-based weekly had inferred that he had played ‘race card politics’, directing gangs to encourage Muslim voters to vote for Muslim Labour council candidates.
Mr Scott, Mr Lockwood and NewsPost all denied defaming the MP.
The libel case, which was heard over two weeks at the High Court last November, ended with the jury failing to reach a verdict.
The following month Mr Malik’s lawyers asked Mr Justice Eady to rule on the matter himself.
But the judge said a second hearing of the case would also have to take place in front of a jury because the matter was of “considerable public importance”.
Costs for the first hearing are believed to be more than £300,000.
Mr Malik is the Minister for International Development and has been the MP for Dewsbury since 2005.