Brent councillor James Powney laments the threat and use of legal writ to silence debate, tending towards an environment where ‘legitimate freedom of speech could be restricted by self censorship.’

Legal writ has its strength though. When Brent Labour distributed a leaflet with false claims about Sarah Teather, the Brent Leb Dems took appropriate legal measures. In the face of the legal action, Labour have now admitted their story was false and agreed to pay the Lib Dems legal costs.

Dawn Butler, Ann John and other Brent Labour members have all signed a written apology to Sarah Teather.

Sarah Teather does not need to make up claims about Dawn Butler and her expenses. Dawn Butler’s £66,000 expenses claims are a matter of public record.