Saturday, November 17th 2012 - 05:47 UTC

BBC pays £ 185.00 to leading Tory wrongly accused of child sex abuse

The BBC agreed to pay 185,000 pounds to a former treasurer of Britain's Conservative Party wrongly accused of child sex abuse as a result of one of its reports. The settlement came as media reports said one of the BBC's former stars had been arrested as part of an ongoing police investigation into sex crimes centred on the publicly funded broadcaster.

Lord Alistair McAlpine  is a former treasurer of the Conservative party

Lord Alistair McAlpine, an ally of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was widely named on the internet as being the unidentified senior politician accused in a report by the BBC's flagship Newsnight program of abusing boys in social care.

The flawed film sparked one of the worst crises in the broadcaster's 90-year history and claimed the scalp of Director General George Entwistle, after the abuse victim central to the BBC investigation said McAlpine was not one of his attackers.

“I am delighted to have reached a quick and early settlement with the BBC,” McAlpine said in a statement.

“I have been conscious that any settlement will be paid by the licence fee payers, and have taken that into account in reaching agreement with the BBC.”

His lawyer warned others who had sullied his client's reputation to get in touch before they too faced litigation, a threat which could ensnare hundreds of Twitter users and bloggers who wrongly named McAlpine.

“We will now be continuing to seek settlements from other organisations that have published defamatory remarks and individuals who have used Twitter to defame me,” McAlpine said.
 

11 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Comments should refer to article. Thank you.

1 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 09:56 am Report abuse
There seems something quite vindictiv in McAlpine's conduct here, if he's really going to sue hundreds of ordinary people on twitter who named him because (like the victim himself at the time, acting on what the police had told him!) they honestly believed he was guilty and being protected by a cover up. And even if he is innocent the original allegations were not just about one man
2 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 04:09 pm Report abuse
People named him on line has a paedophile, on the basis of on line gossip, a stupid, irresponsible and cowardly thing to do. He has every right to seek redress, perhaps it will make other people think twice before they do something similiar and save some poor other sod from going through the hell he has had to go through.
3 Anbar (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 08:23 pm Report abuse
“”“There seems something quite vindictive in McAlpine's conduct here,”“””

how so?

(seriously, how so?)

I “honestly” believe a lot of things about you, it doesnt mean I can run around twitter saying them though with impunity though.

Not too mention that Sally Bercow deserves suing just for being born stupid...let alone legally inept and defamatory on the basis of rumours...crikey, the only shame is that it wont take out her idiot husband at the same time.
4 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 09:03 pm Report abuse
Well said Anbar, the internet is proving to be the greatest tool ever invented for the right to the freedom of speech. With that freedom comes responsibility and using it to spread unsubstantiated accusations of such a horribly grave nature, with all the pain and distress they cause, is an abuse of that responsibility.
5 brucey-babe (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 09:17 pm Report abuse
£185,000 to be paid by the BBC., in other words the licence payer will pay the cash to Lord McAlpine and the BBC accuser gets away without a dent in his / her bank account, that is wrong !
6 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 09:28 pm Report abuse
Could not agree with any stronger, the Head of the BBC does the honourable thing and resigns, yeah!!! with a whacking great pay off of £1,000,000 in licence fees. Have half a mind to withhold mine, if it was not for the fact they would prosecute me before you could say “Detector Van”, makes you sick!!!!
7 GeoffWard2 (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 10:22 pm Report abuse
All it needs is 6,897 to be given a year's free BBC licence, the cost being absorbed within the annual budget.
Good PR and, most would say, 'doin' the right thing' ... having done the wrong thing by awarding such a huge pay-off to somebody in post for just a few days.

As Patten says, there is a huge need for stripping out the aberrant culture of the BBC.
And the sooner the better.
8 reality check (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 10:36 pm Report abuse
The BBC has been getting away with it for years, remember them broadcasting the news of 2 Paras advance on Goose Green, the day before the attack!
Nothings changed and I for one do not expect anything different from them in the future, not has long has they keep on being handed the licence fees regardless of how they use it!!!
9 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 17th, 2012 - 11:45 pm Report abuse
I still think that when the police and the victim were saying it was him at the time, it would be more appropriate to get to the bottom of how they got it so wrong than demanding huge sums of defamation money from ordinary people that probably don't have it. In the context of the Jimmy Saville coverup and given what the police and victim were saying I think many of those who named McAlpine online were not only making an honest mistake, but a noble one, which but for the mixed up facts could be getting them a medal by now. What signal should we be sending to the potential whistle blowers of the future? I also think Sally Bercow is a shallow lightweight but she's one of the ones who does have the means to pay, and in any case its the principle that counts. And lets not forget that the ones who still suffered most in this are the victims, and that some of the perpetrators have still as of now got away with it

#8 “remember them broadcasting the news of 2 Paras advance on Goose Green, the day before the attack!”

I don't, but in all seriousness that does strike me as utterly ridiculous and potentially criminal. No country's broadcaster should enganger its soldiers that way, including our own
10 reality check (#) Nov 18th, 2012 - 07:42 am Report abuse
BBC world service broadcast the news the day prior to the attack, as a result the Argentines reinforced with a company of marines. 2 Para CO. the late H JONES VC, threatened to sue them for endangering the lifes of his men, as it turned out he was one of those who paid the price. If this had happened in Churchills time, some bastard would have wound up in the Tower on Treason charges and rightly so. It was absolutaly typical of their behaviour and as I said, nothings changed and nothing will.
11 Anbar (#) Nov 18th, 2012 - 07:57 pm Report abuse
“ than demanding huge sums of defamation money from ordinary people that probably don't have it”

such as who?

and if you dont want to be sued dont go running around libelling people on the basis of rumours..its pretty simple...it aint rocket science.

The “problem” in this instance is that some glory-seeking people WANT to be seen as “being in the know” and so are willing to risk libelling people just so that they can gossip on Twitter and “show off” their contacts *cough* Bercow *cough*.

Stop trying to show off, stop libelling people without evidence and no problem.

they deserve punishment, all of them.

----

BUT, its owrth noting that McAlpine has issued a pretty simple alternative to being sued: his solicitor was quite clear on this: “Apologise OR be sued.”

If they aint got any money to be sued then there's an EASY and HONEST way to avoid the issue isnt there?

And that, BK, is not my definition of “Vindictiveness”.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!

Advertisement

Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!