Key Findings of the High Court

Justice Hinton's decision was made public on 19th September 2019. This is our summary of the findings:

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  1. Mr Craig’s letters to Ms MacGregor were ‘highly inappropriate’ for an employer to send to an employee and had clear sexual content (paragraphs [21], [31], [45], and [53]).

  2. Ms MacGregor’s responses to Mr Craig were ‘markedly more restrained’ and contained no sexual references or innuendo (paragraphs [37] and [48]). The affectionate and appreciative language of Ms MacGregor’s texts to Mr Craig were really responding to his effusive flattery of her, both personally, and in terms of her work. She did not encourage or reciprocate his sexual comments and overtones (paragraph [179]).

  3. Mr Craig sexually harassed Ms MacGregor from 2012 onwards. Mr Craig’s letters, texts, and comments were unwelcome to Ms MacGregor from early 2012 onwards. It does not matter that she did not specifically object to them. An employee in her position often would not (paragraph [176]). The sexual harassment covered a period of approximately two and a half years (paragraph 182]).

  4. Mr Craig’s sexual conduct had a detrimental effect on Ms MacGregor (paragraph [180]).

  5. Ms MacGregor ought not to have told Mr Williams that Mr Craig was a bad employer who failed to negotiate and agree pay rates and pay her invoices when they were due. She also ought not to have told Mr Williams that Mr Craig had harassed, abused or been nasty towards two or more women.

  6. The loan which Mr Craig gave to Ms MacGregor was ‘somewhat paternalistic’ (paragraph [61]) and would have been ‘usurious’ if Ms MacGregor had had to pay the interest following her default (paragraph [212]).

  7. Mr Craig’s press statements, letter to the Conservative Party, and the Dirty Politics booklet went too far in asserting that Mr MacGregor’s allegations of sexual harassment were false. The statements went beyond what was necessary to respond to the attacks on him (paragraphs [215], [244], 254]) and were not responsible (paragraphs [216], [244], [255])

  8. Ms MacGregor was entitled to share her tweet on 22 June 2015 as it was a responsible and proportionate response to Mr Craig’s irresponsible and unfair attack on her (paragraph [233]).

  9. Overall, Ms MacGregor was successful in most of her claims against Mr Craig as the court found that she was sexually harassed by Mr Craig. The only claim which she did not succeed on was Mr Craig’s comments about her finances. Mr Craig was partially successful in his claim about some of the things Ms MacGregor said to Mr Williams but was otherwise unsuccessful.

  10. The parties now need to provide written submissions on damages and costs. Ms MacGregor’s submissions are due on 4 October 2019 and Mr Craig’s are due on 25 October 2019. A decision on damages will follow some time after that.