Migrants Organise receive substantial damages & apology from Talk TV and Mike Graham in successful defamation claim

Migrants Organise, the award-winning charity advocating for the rights and welfare of migrants and refugees, has been vindicated by a substantial libel settlement with Talk TV presenter, Mike Graham, and News UK, owners of Talk TV (a TV channel broadcast nationally on terrestrial, satellite, cable, and other platforms).  

Migrants Organise is a charity which provides a platform for refugees and migrants to organise for power, dignity and justice. It instructed Zillur Rahman of Rahman Lowe and Mark Henderson of Doughty Street Chambers in its successful defamation claim.

Between 10 – 13 June 2022, in episodes of The Independent Republic of Mike Graham’, broadcast on national TV and via clips shared by TalkTV and Mike Graham on Twitter, and also in the words oftweets by Mike Graham, various accusations were made relating to Migrants Organise.

Mr Graham stated on Twitter that Migrants Organise was a “charity that is funded to help illegal migration to this country, linking to a page listing its funders. In another tweet he said that “Those human traffickers need your money”. In aclip of his show shared on Twitter, he said that such charities were “helping migrants come to this country illegally”. A guest on the show, in a clip also shared by a tweet about “Ben & Jerry’s … attempting to undermine the Government’s Rwanda … plan said that these charities were also advising refugees “to convert to Christianity”to assist with their asylum applicationswhich is what happened to our friend in Liverpoolreferencing the Liverpool terror attack.

In another clip, which was shared in a tweet from TalkTV statingMike Graham’s powerful response to a bid by human rights activists to block the UK’s first migrant deportation flight to Rwanda, Mr Graham stated that: “There are charitable organisations like Migrant[s] Organise that will tell them precisely how to keep staying here. Become a Christian, they say. That’s what the guy who blew himself up in Liverpool did. Become somebody who says that they’ve rehabilitated [themselves] from Islamic jihadism. That’s exactly what happened to the bloke who blew up the Manchester Arena. Tell them that you are gay and you can’t be sent home. That’s a good one. That will keep you here….”.

The statements were shared thousands of times on Twitter, inspiring a torrent of hateful messages and threats against Migrants Organise and its charitable funders.

Migrants Organise brought a libel claim on the basis that the statements were false and seriously defamatory of the charity by suggesting that it uses charitable funds to traffic migrants to the UK illegally; that it engages in fraud by concocting false reasons for asylum to enable migrants to obtain refugee status, and that in so doing, itfacilitates and enables terrorist attacks; and that the charity are human traffickers.

The libel settlement, reached one year on, involves News UK and Mike Graham apologising, paying the charity substantial damages and itslegal costs in full, and publicising on Twitter a statement that
we … have agreed to pay [Migrants Organise]damages and legal costs.”

The apology published on Twitter by TalkTV (link to tweet) and Mike Graham (link to tweet) also states that “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. They identify the relevant allegations as being that Migrants Organise 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. They add that “we should have offered the charity the opportunity to come on and respond.

Zrinka Bralo (CEO of Migrants Organise) 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. 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.”

Zillur Rahman added:

“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”.  


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.

TalkTV is a national UK television channel, which is owned and operated by News UK Broadcasting Ltd. It is on Freeview, sky, cable, YouTube, and apps. Its high-profile live programmes include ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ and ‘The Independent Republic of Mike Graham’. Mike Graham tweets in his own name and the abbreviated Twitter handle of his show @Iromg.


Our extensive experience of acting in high profile defamation cases means that we are particularly well placed to advise clients whose case may reach the public eye, and to advise on associated matters such as reputation management. Zillur Rahman recently featured as The Times Lawyer of the Week for winning substantial damages in another libel claim.