Ref NoNBE/4
TitlePrivate Eye and legal papers
Extent1 file (Box 2)
Creator NameBeloff; Nora (1919-1997); political reporter
DescriptionDocuments relating to Nora Beloff's legal actions against Private Eye. Beloff was a favourite target of Private Eye who referred to her as 'Ballsoff'. When Auberon Waugh writing for Private Eye implied that Beloff had slept with the entire Conservative cabinet she successfully sued the magazine for libel. However, a concurrent action taken against Private Eye concerning copyright was lost. In this action Beloff had sued for breach of copyright when Private Eye published an office memorandum containing off-the-record information from a cabinet minister. The case was lost on a technicality, relating to whether Beloff or The Observer held ownership of the copyright, but the failure of the case set a damaging consequences for freedom of the press. The file contains documentation relating to both of these legal actions including: correspondence between Beloff and her solicitors; a copy of the leaked memo around which the copyright action was made; press cuttings containing opinion on Beloff's actions and the case's outcome; correspondence with witnesses called on Beloff's behalf and some of their statements in particular those of Renee Soskin, David Astor and Judith Beloff; Beloff's own statement; correspondence from individuals expressing sympathy with Beloff's action; copies of legal documents relating to the case including, writs, statements of claim, requests for further and better particulars, the defence and the reply to the defence.
At the back of the file are papers relating to a separate legal action. This action was taken against Nora Beloff, David Astor and The Observer by Patrick Glyn Mulligan, the Secretary/Agent of the Lincoln Labour Party.
System Of ArrangementChronological and by subject
Access StatusOpen
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