Former Tory treasurer Lord McAlpine denies child abuse claims calling them "wholly false and seriously defamatory"
Lord McAlpine has released a statement accusing the media of defaming him by innuendo following days of speculation linking him to child abuse. The former Tory treasurer issued the denial after being implicated by the media, and named on social media, over claims relating to child abuse at a children’s home in Wrexham, North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s. In his statement Lord McAlpine, now 70, stated he had been to Wrexham “only once” and never visited the children’s home in question, “I have never been to the children's home in Wrexham, nor have I ever visited any children's home, reform school or any other institution of a similar nature,” he added. He explained that the allegations against him were “wholly false and seriously defamatory” and that he wanted to “tackle these slurs and set the record straight”. Speaking specifically about social media, he referred to those who had named him as “the senior Conservative Party figure from the days of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership who is guilty of sexually abusing young residents of a children’s home in Wrexham, North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s,” as “ill- or uninformed commentators”. He continued: “Even though these allegations made of me by implication in the broadcast and print media, and made directly about me on the internet, are wholly false and seriously defamatory I can no longer expect the broadcast and print media to maintain their policy of defaming me only by innuendo. “There is a media frenzy and I have to expect that an editor will soon come under pressure to risk naming me. My name and the allegations are for all practical purposes linked and in the public domain and I cannot rewind the clock. “I therefore have decided that in order to mitigate, if only to some small extent, the damage to my reputation I must publicly tackle these slurs and set the record straight. "In doing so, I am by no means giving up my right to sue those who have defamed me in the recent past or who may do so in the future and I expressly reserve my rights to take all such steps as I and my solicitors consider necessary to protect my interests." Lord McAlpine insisted that he personally had only been to Wrexham once and during his time there he visited the local Constituency Conservative Association in his capacity as deputy chairman. He said that he was accompanied at all times on this trip by Stuart Newman, a Central Office agent, and though Newman is now dead, Lord McAlpine’s solicitors are actively looking to contact a senior secretary from Conservative Central Office to recover the date of his visit. He added he was “entirely willing” to meet with the chief constable of North Wales Mark Polin and National Crime Agency director general Keith Bristow as soon as possible “so that they can eliminate me from their inquiries and so that any unwarranted suspicion can be removed from me.”