Three law lords ruled that Mr Rothschild’s application ‘does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal’.
The legal action dates back to 2010 when the Mail published a story concerning a trip to Moscow by Mr Rothschild’s close friend Lord Mandelson.
The Mail said that in January 2005, while EU trade commissioner, Mandelson had been flown from Switzerland to the Russian capital to be present at a dinner to mark the closure of a £500million business deal.
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was selling aluminium plants to the American firm Alcoa. Rothschild was also Deripaska’s friend and business adviser.
It was on Rothschild’s plane that Mandelson had been flown. The article suggested that the trip exposed the then trade commissioner to questions of possible conflict of interest, given that he had a role in setting tariffs on aluminium imports into the EU. Though the report mainly concerned Mandelson and Deripaska, neither of them complained.
Instead it was Rothschild who sued for libel, claiming the article was wrong and portrayed him as having taken advantage of his friend for his own business benefit. He sought ‘heavy damages’.
By Steven Swinford 4th February 2014
Deputy Prime Minister says Liberal Democrats will publish alternative strategy this year after completing study of decriminalisation in Uruguay and some US states.