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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -2°C
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Michael Smith

Editor of magazine that revealed GP contract leak brings defamation case against Leo Varadkar

A spokesperson for the Tánaiste said that the claims will be “fully defended”.

THE EDITOR OF the magazine that revealed Tánaiste Leo Varadkar leaked a confidential document has lodged defamation proceedings against Varadkar in the High Court.

Michael Smith, editor of the Village magazine, has filed the proceedings through KRW Law solicitors over comments made by the Tánaiste in The Sunday Times in August.

A spokesperson for the Tánaiste said that the claims will be “fully defended”.

In a statement, KRW Law said it was acting for Michael Smith in relation to alleged defamatory statements made by Varadkar in the published print and online editions of The Sunday Times on 21 August.

“As proceedings have now issued it would be inappropriate to comment any further other than to say that the case is taken in order to protect our clients [sic] good name and reputation,” the firm said.

The Tánaiste’s spokesperson said that Varadkar “rejects these claims unequivocally”.

He claimed that Smith is “an opponent of the Tánaiste” and that the was the “latest installment” of “opprobrium”.

“The Tánaiste’s legal advice is that the claims are baseless. They will be fully defended.”

In October 2020, the Village reported that while he was Taoiseach, Varadkar had provided a copy of a confidential document on GP contracts to the President of the National Association of General Practitioners.

In response, the Tánaiste said his actions had not been in “best practice” but that he had sought legal advice in relation to the article.

Following a garda investigation, the Director of Public Prosecutions directed in July of this year that no prosecution would be brought against Varadkar over the incident.