Yesterday afternoon, the Editor of this magazine received a legal threat via BBC ‘Wildlife Personality’ Chris Packham’s lawyers, Leigh Day, in relation to what Packham is claiming to be defamatory material contained in these four Country Squire Magazine articles:
The four articles are well worth a read, especially now Packham – like some kind of tinpot dictator – is demanding they be immediately removed. They expose a story of tigers transported from Europe to a zoo on the Isle of Wight – tigers which were claimed to be ‘maltreated’ and ‘rescued’ by Packham and his associates in their crowdfunding blurb – points which the owners and experts vehemently and factually dispute.
The letter sent by Packham’s lawyers to the Editor can be reviewed – unedited and in full as received, for all to read just as it should be – here:
The Editor has been fully briefed on the truth of these tiger-related matters. He was meticulous in checking and double-checking every detail contained in these articles before allowing them to be published, as were the Daily Mail. As those who know him are well aware, the Editor is not one to accept threats from dime store hucksters, whether they have a history of violence or possess a CBE. Certainly, the Editor does not have a fondness for extremist political activists who have built their careers on the back of forced licence fee payers, most of whom, frankly, are appalled by fringe and ridiculous views. Indeed he wonders why on earth a national broadcaster sucking from the public teat is involved with them at all.
Chris Packham may be so delusional and cocooned as to believe that a legal threat – in this case via some tank-chasers – will in some way change the course of history. Jonathan Aitken thought the same. Mr Packham has no idea about the army of witnesses (and enemies) he will now drag to the fore. The BBC will now be put in yet another terribly embarrassing position – the new BBC Director General Tim Davie has been warned twice directly by the Editor about continuing Chris Packham’s contracts given the growing bank of negative data against him.
There are two points worth dwelling on here:
- Why the legal threat now? This is likely because the underfunded, tightrope-walking Fundraising Regulator, who have been investigating Packham and associates, will – in coming weeks – fail to be brave enough to strike a blow against the Wildheart Trust, run by Packham and his girlfriend Charlotte Corney. This will be in part because the original complaint was put together by a member of the public without professional assistance and in part because of legal threats their financial controllers will be baulking at. Presuming, as seems likely, the Fundraising Regulator reaches an impasse and lets the Wildheart Trust off the hook, a new complaint shall now be put together more professionally and formally which will include many hours of new witness statements and expert evidence – this will also include a formal simultaneous denunciation via the relevant services to the UK and Spanish police.
- Absence exposes the truth. Look at the articles about Packham and Corney published recently by Country Squire Magazine that the legal threat does not refer to: Pinocchio Packham Strikes Again, BBC Should Now Suspend Packham, and the exposé about Corney’s Zoo car park cash cow in Yet More Packham Porkies.
One of the errors in Packham’s lawyers’ letter – immediately below – should be addressed for the record now:
Country Squire Magazine, as the About Page of the magazine has made patently clear for years, ‘has a simple mission statement: to be an online publication which provides a platform for voices from the overlooked Great British Countryside. We hope to live up to that mission.’
As a platform we have always made clear that we relish receiving right to reply articles and letters. In the past these have included responses from, for example, prominent Rewilding activists who disagreed with articles written by Country Squire Magazine writers. Free Speech is sacrosanct and different points of view are welcomed. The magazine – save being anti-muppets – hardly has a political agenda and has attracted writers from a myriad of political persuasions over the years.
Chris Packham – like all the anti-hunt crowd – has always had an opportunity to use Country Squire Magazine as a platform to make his points of view heard. We have invited his fellow antis time and again to engage as grown-ups peacefully on our platform yet repeatedly they have failed to take up the opportunity – so they have failed to state their case. The Editor has stated multiple times he has never been hunting in his life. Yet, certainly, Country Squire Magazine houses quite a few articles which defend the right to hunt – it would be great if it covered anti-hunt pieces too, so that the ongoing debate over hunting got discussed in a civilised manner rather than descending into the current nonsense of points-scoring and shenanigans which waste so much police time.
So we at Country Squire Magazine believe that the grown-up way is to use right to reply – and in the case of Chris Packham, even a post-lockdown public meeting should he require it – to get to the bottom of the tiger importing scheme. The truth is rarely pure and never simple – let’s hear Packham’s side of the tiger tale in his own words. Then let the public decide whether he is dodgy or not. The offer stands.
Have either options ever been taken up by Packham?
Ever suggested by Packham?
Straight to the lawyers.
Whether in a public meeting or in a courtroom, Mr Chris Packham CBE, the truth will out. Choose your medicine wisely.
For those with information on Chris Packham or related more generally to the tiger imports or Wildheart Trust that they wish to divulge – confidentially of course and anonymously if necessary – please feel free to use the contact page of this magazine. Many thanks to those who have already sent in information. Thanks also to those Packham supporters who got in touch with fake news about Packham and Corney – sorry to disappoint you but we did not fall for your fabrications, as we triple check every detail we publish in this magazine and quickly saw through your lies.