Labour politician and metal fan Richard Burgon wins ‘Nazi’ libel case against The Sun

Labour MP for Leeds East, Richard Burgon

Labour frontbench MP Richard Burgon has won £30,000 damages against The Sun newspaper, who claimed a band he had recorded with used Nazi imagery.

The Shadow Justice Secretary and MP for Leeds East guested on a track by Leeds band Dream Troll in 2017 – who the British tabloid claimed used “the name of Hitler’s infamous SS security unit as lettering in its promotional posters.”

The poster in question read: “We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Troll” – a spoof of the cover of Black Sabbath’s 1975 album We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Roll. Both emphasis the ’S’ in the words ‘Sold’ and ‘Soul.’

Burgon slammed the story and called it “utter rubbish” in April 2017, and added the band were “fans of Black Sabbath, not neo-Nazis.”

Burgon subsequently brought a libel case against The Sun, and at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Dingemans ruled in the politician’s favour.

According to the BBC, Mr Justice Dingemans noted that the online article remained on The Sun’s website for more than six months and no apology had been offered to Burgon. The court found damages of £30,000 were “appropriate.”

Responding to the ruling, Burgon said: “Delighted to have won my High Court case against The Sun. Their slur attempting to link me to ’Nazi symbols’ was held to be false and defamatory.

“The Judge ordered The Sun to pay £30,000 in damages. With that, I’ll fund a paid justice internship for a young person from Leeds.”

The BBC also report that The Sun said they were “deeply disappointed” by the ruling and will appeal the judgement.

They said in a statement: "We fundamentally disagree with the judge's conclusions and, furthermore, fear they may act as a brake on the ability of the free press to hold those in power to account and to scrutinise the judgment of those who aspire to the highest offices in the land."

Speaking exclusively with Metal Hammer in 2016, Burgon spoke about his love of metal and revealed he was eight years old when he discovered Iron Maiden.

The Dream Troll poster

The Dream Troll poster

The Black Sabbath original

The Black Sabbath original
Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.