Twitter users who wrongly named Lord McAlpine as being involved in a child sex scandal in North Wales in the eighties following a report on Newsnight, could be sued by the former Conservative treasurer.
According to The Times and the Daily Mail, those who face legal action from McAlpine include Sally Bercow, the wife of the Commons Speaker, who pointed out that his name was trending as a result of the speculation.
She has since been apologetic on Twitter for having done so; “Belatedly read McAlpine statement. Am TOTAL, irresponsible eejit for mentioning fact that he was trending on my timeline last Sun. So sorry,” she tweeted on 9 November.
That was followed by: “Now counting coins in piggy bank coz Lord McAlpine will probably sue my arse (sic). For pointing out that he was a trending topic. FML - am donut,” and “Final on McAlpine: am VERY sorry for inadvertently fanning flames (sic). But I tweet as me, forgetting that to some of u I am Mrs bloody Speaker.”
Since the report was broadcast, the main witness has apologised to Lord McAlpine, admitting to a case of mistaken identity, which has ultimately led to the resignation of both the BBC’s director general George Entwistle, and the head of news Helen Boden, alongside her deputy this morning.
McAlpine’s lawyers have previously stated that they planned on suing those who defamed their client.