Friday 19 December 2014

Lord McAlpine seeks higher payout from ITV after paedophile blunder

Ellen Branagh

Published 19/11/2012 | 13:43

Lawyers for Lord McAlpine are seeking a larger payout from ITV than the £185,000 he received from the BBC last week.

The former Tory politician's legal team said today they are looking to get a larger figure from ITV's This Morning, which is thought to have until this afternoon to respond to demands.



The broadcaster sparked fury after presenter Phillip Schofield brandished a list of names of alleged abusers which he had found on the internet and handed it to the Prime Minister during a live interview, asking if he would investigate them.



Ofcom has also launched an investigation into the incident, while ITV said that disciplinary action had been taken.



The broadcaster has been contacted by Lord McAlpine's lawyers and is expected to have to respond by the end of today.



An ITV spokesman said: "We have received correspondence from Lord McAlpine's representatives and we will be responding in due course."



ITV is the second name in a long list of organisations and individuals who wrongly linked Lord McAlpine to a paedophile ring.



Action is also being prepared against a large number of Twitter users - including the wife of the Commons Speaker - who identified the peer in connection with the false sex abuse claims.



Lawyers for the peer reached a £185,000 settlement with the BBC last week after it broadcast a botched Newsnight investigation into child abuse at a North Wales care home.



Lord McAlpine was mistakenly implicated by Newsnight's November 2 broadcast in a paedophile ring that targeted children at the care home in Wrexham.



Although the programme did not name the peer - referring only to a senior Conservative from the Thatcher era - he was quickly identified online.



Lord McAlpine has previously said he was "delighted" to have reached a quick and early settlement with the BBC.



"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," he said last week.



"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."



The peer said the damage of the Newsnight report "can't be repaired" and he now has to live with the legacy of suspicion.



After the broadcast, Newsnight carried a full, on-air apology for the broadcast a week later.



An official report by the BBC's Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie into the botched investigation concluded that Newsnight staff had failed to complete "basic journalistic checks".



Mr MacQuarrie also found there was confusion about who had the responsibility for "final editorial sign-off", adding that the programme's editorial management structure had been "seriously weakened" as a result of the editor having to step aside over the Jimmy Savile scandal, and the departure of the deputy editor.



Disciplinary action is being pursued over the incident.



Lord McAlpine has said the BBC could have saved "a lot of agonising and money" by simply calling him before the programme went out.



Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News