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Tag: Lord McAlpine

The search for meaning: Sally Bercow and Sally Morgan – Owen O’Rorke

Sally-Bercow-800x532sally morganTwo high-profile celebrity libel cases have recently ended with a substantial financial settlement in the Claimant’s favour: undisclosed, following a ruling on meaning and liability, in the case of Sally Bercow and Lord McAlpine; and a £125,000 damages payment in the case of the “Celebrity Psychic” Sally Morgan versus the Daily Mail, reached privately with the matter already due for trial. Continue reading

Libel Claims against ITV and Twitter – Lord McAlpine and the restoration of reputation [Updated]

As we pointed out last week, Lord McAlpine’s reputation was severely damaged by the event surrounding the ill-conceived Newsnight broadcast of 2 November 2012. That damage was caused in part by the publication on Twitter of material which linked him to the unidentified individual mentioned in the broadcast.  Lord McAlpine was plainly entitled to have his reputation restored.  This was, in practice, substantially achieved by the apology given by the BBC on 10 November 2012. Continue reading

Libel damages and Lord McAlpine: did the BBC pay too much?

There is no doubt that Lord McAlpine has been badly treated by the BBC. The Newsnight broadcast on 2 November 2012 about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s referred to “a leading Tory politician of the Thatcher era”.  Although he was not mentioned by name, this individual being referred to was Lord McAlpine.  He was identified before transmission on Twitter and was foreseeably identified afterwards by large numbers of people.  The report was wrong – as the BBC admitted on 10 November 2012.  It issued an unreserved apology. Continue reading

The BBC, Lord McAlpine and Libel Law

The past week has seen a series of extraordinary events arising out of a BBC Newsnight broadcast about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.  This led to the wide dissemination of false allegations against the former Conservative Party Treasurer, Lord McAlpine and resulted in the resignation of the Director General of the BBC.  The case gives rise to a number of interesting libel law questions and casts doubt on the appropriateness of a proposed new “public interest defence”. Continue reading

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