Tuesday, 18 December 2012
BBC and ITV libel cash for McAlpine
"Lord McAlpine has formally settled his libel actions against the BBC and ITV
Lord McAlpine, who was wrongly implicated [no] in child sex abuse allegations, has settled his libel actions against the BBC and ITV.
The former Tory Party treasurer was not at London's High Court to hear their solicitors apologise unreservedly for the damage and distress caused. His lawyers confirmed that the agreements involved the payment of £185,000 damages by the BBC and £125,000 from ITV, together with very substantial costs.
The peer's counsel, Edward Garnier QC, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the action followed a Newsnight broadcast in November about the alleged sexual abuse of boys at the Bryn Estyn children's home in Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
Two victims claimed that they suffered abuse "at the hands of a leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years" [bad enough a slur, one should think]. The item did not name Lord McAlpine [fact], but the programme-makers intended him to be the target of the allegations, he added [opinion, protected under free speech, ironically]
"Unfortunately, in fact disastrously [sic], names had already been named [elsewhere, and independent of the BBC]. Throughout the day on November 2, Newsnight's forthcoming report had been widely trailed on the internet. Furthermore, Lord McAlpine's name [amongst others, with no direct allegation] had been linked to it. In the aftermath of Newsnight's broadcast, Lord McAlpine was widely identified as the subject of Newsnight's allegations [such was the judgement of the people]
"In short, Newsnight made the most serious of defamatory allegations about Lord McAlpine [no], tarring him as a paedophile [no] who was guilty of sexually abusing vulnerable young boys living in care [no]. Those allegations are untrue [they did not even happen]. As the BBC now accepts, they were utterly baseless [hardly baseless, although it is a straw man]. These disgraceful allegations should never have been made [which they were not]."
BBC and ITV apologise to Lord McAlpine for sex abuse allegations
'Devious' sex scam rapist Steven Dick jailed
"The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites"