Basically the Court found that the statements in the column were not defamatory, as a reasonable person would take them as hyperbole rather than literal accusations of improper behaviour.
Joyce was not seeking damages, just a retraction or apology. The Court of Appeal decision though means that Scott is no longer liable for Joyce’s costs, but in fact Joyce will be liable for much of Scott’s costs.
I still think the best course of action would have been for Scott to retract the column, once the columnist (Hooton) had done the same. But give him credit – he decided not to, and eventually won.