Twitter users are bracing themselves for a sweaty few days after Lord McAlpine's lawyer issued a chilling statement on BBC Radio 4’s The World At One, saying 'we know who you are'.
McAlpine’s solicitor, Andrew Reid, believes a settlement agreement with the BBC could be reached today and has called on those who had named the Tory peer on Twitter to get in touch with him and publicly apologise in what could be a defining moment for the micro-blog service.
Reid told the BBC: "What we're basically saying to people is, look, we know - in inverted commas - who you are, we know exactly the extent of what you've done. And it's easier to come forward and see us and apologise and arrange to settle with us because, in the long run, this is the cheapest and best way to bring this matter to an end."
The remarks came as Lord McAlpine, the Tory peer who leapt to prominence after being named on social media as the subject of a BBC Newsnight investigation into child abuse, granted his first interview to the very broadcaster which besmirched his name.
Speaking on the same programme, to be broadcast today at 13:00, McAlpine stated his incredulity that no-one had bothered to contact him in advance of broadcast, saying: “Of course they (the BBC) should have called me and I would have told them exactly what they learned later on.
“That it was complete rubbish and that I'd only ever been to Wrexham once in my life. They could have saved themselves a lot of agonising and money, actually, if they'd just made that telephone call."
Describing the impact of the accusations McAlpine said: “It gets into your bones. It gets into, it makes you angry. And that's extremely bad for you to be angry. And it gets into your soul and you just think there's something wrong with the world.”
Disciplinary action is currently pending against the BBC staff involved in the production and transmission of the erroneous report.