Jason Henry 0

BBC and Avalon must Waive Springer Costs

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We the undersigned call upon Mark Thompson of the BBC and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon to waive the £90,000 costs awarded to them against Stephen Green in the Jerry Springer the Opera case. We note that Mark Thompson\'s salary is more than £750,000 pa and that Jon Thoday\'s wealth was estimated at £12 million in 2001. We note that Jonathan Thoday\'s company lost £500,000 on the tour of Jerry Springer the Opera and that £35,000 is small change to him. We note that the BBC spends millions on inflated salaries for celebrities, rebranding logos and the news and on channels hardly anyone watches and that it would not even notice £55,000. We note that it is customary for public bodies to bear their own costs in public interest cases. Finally, we regard the costs orders made against Stephen Green as vindictive and we question whether public-spirited individuals can gain fair access to the courts against rich and powerful opponents with the threat of punitive costs hanging over them.


This petition relates to a private prosecution taken out by Stephen Green against Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon in respect of Jerry Springer the Opera, which Thompson screened on BBC2 and Thoday produced. As the potential prosecutor of a criminal action, Stephen Green was never in a position to benefit from a successful prosecution. He took the action in the public interest. However, when Mr Justice Collins and Lord Justice Hughes in the High Court last December made a blatant political decision that Thompson and Thoday were immune from prosecution, Green was left with costs orders against him from each of the wealthy potential defendants. Those orders have now been finalised and it is the enforcement of those orders which this petition is about.


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