16/11/2012

BBC And McAlpine Agree £185,000 Settlement

The BBC has agreed a damages settlement of £185,000 with Lord McAlpine following the Newsnight broadcast on 2 November that wrongly linked the former Conservative party treasurer to historic allegations child sexual abuse.

The settlement is one of the largest sums ever paid out by the publicly funded corporation, and will set a precedent for other legal actions the peer id pursuing against ITV and any other media organisations and individuals.

The BBC said it had "agreed terms with Lord McAlpine to settle his claim of libel against the corporation. The settlement is comprehensive and reflects the gravity of the allegations that were wrongly made".

It is understood that, despite the payment, the BBC and McAlpine have reached an agreement in which the peer will say he still holds the BBC "in great esteem" when statements are read out in open court confirming the damages.

The concession was welcomed by the BBC as it battles to restore its reputation after the error, which led to the resignation of director general George Entwistle on Saturday.

(H)


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