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November 22, 2012 5:10 pm
ITV will pay £125,000 in damages, and legal costs, to Lord McAlpine to settle a libel claim that followed the broadcast of a list of Conservative politicians in relation to alleged child abuse.
Phillip Schofield, presenter of ITV’s This Morning, handed David Cameron a list of names, taken from the internet, some of which were said to be legible to viewers.
The broadcaster and Mr Schofield said they had reached agreement with the peer to settle his claim.
“ITV and Phillip Schofield apologise unreservedly to Lord McAlpine, have agreed the terms of a statement to be made in open court and have agreed to pay him damages of £125,000 and his legal costs,” a statement said.
Lord McAlpine said: “I am pleased to have reached a pragmatic settlement with ITV.”
ITV has negotiated a lower level of damages than the BBC, which agreed to pay Lord McAlpine £185,000 after a Newsnight report that led to his name being wrongly linked to child abuse on Twitter, the social media website.
RMPI, solicitors to Lord McAlpine, said: “The settlement reflects the fact that this defamatory incident was aired on ITV post publication of the BBC Newsnight programme, which originally brought this matter into the public domain.”
RMPI said ITV had committed to remove from public records all media coverage relating to the defamatory incident.
Lord McAlpine is pursuing Twitter users who repeated and helped spread the false allegation about him.
Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers have been asked to make a small fixed donation to BBC Children In Need, Lord McAlpine’s charity of choice. But those with more than 500 followers will be asked to agree an out-of-court settlement for a larger amount. The amount is expected to depend on how many follow the Twitter user and their position in public life.
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