Talk TV Issues Apology and Pays Substantial Damages to Migrants Organise for Defamatory Statements 

Migrants Organise, an award-winning charity advocating for the rights and welfare of migrants and refugees, has received an apology and damages following defamatory accusations made by Talk TV and its host, Mr Mike Graham. 

Presenter Mr Mike Graham made false and damaging assertions on his show, The Independent Republic of Mike Graham, and in his Tweets in June 2022, which characterised Migrants Organise and its dedicated efforts to support migrants and refugees in inaccurate and harmful ways.  

The comments were broadcast on 10 June 2022 and repeatedly shared on Twitter until 13 June 2022, inspiring a torrent of hateful messages and threats against Migrants Organise and its charitable funders.

Recognising the gravity of the defamatory statements and the potential harm they could cause to Migrants Organise’s reputation and work, the charity pursued legal recourse for a year to seek redress and vindication. 

After negotiations, Talk TV and Mr Graham agreed to publish an apology stating that they “accept there wasn’t a factual basis” to allegations that Migrants Organise “facilitated fraud and terrorism”. 

In addition to the apology, News UK Broadcasting Ltd agreed to pay Migrants Organise legal costs and substantial damages

Migrants Organise CEO Zrinka Bralo said:

“We are pleased to have resolved this matter and received an apology and damages for the false and damaging allegations. We sought to protect our reputation and the safety of our people – migrants and refugees, our volunteers, staff, allies and supporters who work for dignity and justice. 

We were exposed to hate and threats of violence as a result of the mischaracterisation of our work and the dehumanisation of people in need, and we had to take a stand.”

The public apology and the settlement from Talk TV and Mr Graham highlight the importance of standing up for fair and truthful reporting. Charities supporting vulnerable people are increasingly targeted by inaccurate media coverage and inflammatory language. 

Migrants Organise CEO Zrinka Bralo added, “This victory is for the people behind these headlines, people who have no voice or representation, people who are scapegoated, demonised and dehumanised. Their resilience is the source of hope for all of us. The least we can do is to treat them with humanity, and instead of blaming them for all our problems, we should look for more ways to welcome them.”

The damages received from the settlement will be utilised by Migrants Organise to further support our vital work in supporting migrants and refugees to rebuild their lives. 

Migrants Organise would like to express gratitude to its members, trustees, funders, supporters, partner organisations and the wider community for their solidarity and unwavering support throughout this legal process. We are grateful to our legal team Zillur Rahman of Rahman Lowe and Mark Henderson of Doughty Street Chambers.  

Commenting on the settlement, Mr Rahman said: 

“We have seen a real increase in the hostility towards migrants and refugees in the last few years under this Government. I am delighted for Migrants Organise, who have been vindicated. They have shown great courage in challenging the false and often dangerous rhetoric around migrants and refugees. I hope this also serves as a lesson to conservative media outlets and their presenters to ensure that they are more responsible in what they say and publish on this topic”.  


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About Migrants Organise:

Migrants Organise Ltd is a grassroots platform where migrants and refugees, and their allies organise in solidarity for dignity and justice for all. The charity was founded 30 years ago, and it provides advice, support, direct access to justice and psychosocial activities for some of the most vulnerable people facing the barriers of the Hostile Environment immigration system. It also campaigns and builds the power of grassroots communities around the country to connect, learn, organise and speak out and take action for dignity and justice for migrants and refugees. Migrants Organise provides resources and works tirelessly to challenge stereotypes and misrepresentation and foster accurate narratives and inclusive debate. 

Statement from Rahman and Lowe here 

Talk TV Apology statement, published on June 14, 2023, can be seen here. 

“We’ve been contacted by the charity Migrants Organise regarding discussion on The Independent Republic of Mike Graham show and Twitter on 10 and 13 June 2022. They have expressed concern it was suggested that they were ‘funded to help illegal migration’, were ‘human traffickers’, and that they facilitated fraud and terrorism by advising asylum seekers to falsify information to bolster their asylum claims. We are happy to clarify that it was not our or Mike’s intention to make those allegations and we accept there wasn’t a factual basis for doing so. There were criticisms of Migrants Organise in the show and we should have offered the charity the opportunity to come on and respond. We apologise for not doing that and have agreed to pay them damages and legal costs.” 

Mr Mike Graham’s Apology statement, published on June 14, 2023, can be seen here. 


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