Current affairs have led to the question of the week, “do town and parish councillors share the same status as MP’s when it comes to Privilege?”

I refer you to your copies of Arnold -Baker on Local Council Administration which states,

“7.37   A person who has made a defamatory statement may claim privilege for it if he can show that he made it without malice and in pursuit of a public duty.  For instance if a member has a good reason to believe that the local council’s funds are being misappropriated he is under a public duty to inform the council.  If, on investigation, the statement is found to be true, it is not defamatory at all, but if it is found to be untrue he may claim privilege if he acted without malice.”