Sunday 18 February 2018

James Downey: A wronged Tory Lord might be just the man to put manners on the Twitterati

LORD McAlpine, one-time close adviser to Margaret Thatcher, might seem an unlikely hero, and not a person to be pitied. He is immensely rich and successful and a former fundraiser for the British Conservative Party. But he deserves praise – and sympathy – for what he has done and said this week.

He has made a settlement with the BBC for a gross libel perpetrated on him in the course of the Jimmy Savile scandal. That, however, is the least of it.

His solicitor, Andrew Reid, has employed experts to track down some of the thousands of people who tweeted or retweeted similarly defamatory comments. You may not have known that such an operation was possible. It certainly would not be possible for anyone who lacks the vast resources that Lord McAlpine and Mr Reid have at their disposal.

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