CARMARTHENSHIRE county council offered Towy Valley blogger Jacqui Thompson an out-of-court settlement prior to the libel case involving chief executive Mark James going to the High Court, members of the authority's executive board were told today.

Mrs Thompson and Mr James sued and counter-sued one another for libel over comments both posted on the internet – a case which resulted in the chief executive's claim being upheld and the 50-year-old mum-of-four facing a £25,000 bill for damages.

And today council leader Kevin Madge said Mrs Thompson had been given the opportunity to settle out-of-court before the case had reached the Royal Courts of Justice.

"No council in this country would want to take anyone to court but I believe that nobody has the right to say what they like about this council, its officers and its members," he said.

"When people go out of their way to make mischief and break the law we need to say enough is enough.

"We tried for an out-of-court settlement but (Mrs Thomson) declined – that's never been said before and it needs to be said now. Her appeal has also been thrown out."

And Cllr Madge reiterated his pledge for a full debate on the matter at a forthcoming meeting of full council.

"I want all the information to come out and I want to have a full debate," he said. "The public need to have all the facts."