Yes, you read it right.

Byline, a small crowd-funded journalism site committed to investigating the stories the mainstream press won’t touch, is being threatened with a crippling libel action from Paul Dacre, Editor-in-Chief of the Mail Group.

But he’s not the only Associated News big-wig lining-up against us. Dacre is joined in the fray by two other powerful Daily Mail executives – Editor Emeritus and IPSO Complaints Board member Peter Wright, and Liz Hartley, Head of Editorial Legal Services.

Their lawyers have served a letter citing these three articles as defamatory.

Part 1: Daily Mail Faces Fresh Blagging Scandal
Part 2: Daily Mail ‘Must have Known’ says Blagging Scandal Private Detective
Part 3: Mail Blags Byline over Illegal Spying

Read them yourself. We believe these articles are accurate and justified under public interest.

Before we published, Byline gave the Mail more rights than they accord many others in respect of a right-to-reply. We gave them 24 hours to respond to the allegations contained in both 1 and 2. We published their comments in Part 3.

At first they dismissed us and now they try to shut us down

Dacre, Wright and Hartley have not sought corrections, or referred us to our regulator, Impress. Instead they have demanded we remove these articles, apologise, or face damages.

We are too small to afford the array of in-house lawyers and external law firms that the Mail group employ. Instead, as a crowd funding site, we rely on pro bono legal advice and the good will of our supporters.

We need you to stop the Mail having a chilling effect on our investigations into their use of private detectives.

Every penny you donate (including processing fees) will go to fight these libel threats and fund our Investigations Team to fearlessly pursue wrongdoing.

We believe in speaking truth to power and not succumbing to bullying media barons.

Help us fight the Dacre libel threat and continue our work.

More articles filed under Paul Dacre


Four current national newspaper editors – including the editor of the Times – named in unlawful news gathering claims

Brian Cathcart

Sunak government springs a surprise by turning a ‘setback for Prince Harry’ into a setback for the Daily Mail

Brian Cathcart

Mail hacking case Day 3: Mail argues that it’s all too late

Brian Cathcart