15 November 2012 - 7:58am | posted by | 4 comments

McAlpine prepares to sue ALL those who Tweeted or Retweeted his name in relation to child abuse allegations

McAlpine prepares to sue ALL those who Tweeted or Retweeted his name in relation to child abuse allegationsMcAlpine prepares to sue ALL those who Tweeted or Retweeted his name

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.

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Comments

15 Nov 2012 - 09:18
CatherineB's picture
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As much as I agree this man has been wronged, surely there are bigger issues to discuss. Like who DID abuse those chidren? Who gave McAlpine's name to the victim? These are the things the media should be focussing on, not one person who was incorrectly named. What's the bigger injustice?

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15 Nov 2012 - 10:39
rosiemilton's picture
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@CatherineB Indeed. People have been publicly slanging since the stocks and hangings, perhaps even before. This is rather a rash, antiquated response, no? A way to make a buck?

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15 Nov 2012 - 11:08
stevekuncewicz's picture
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This certainly isn't the first time that Tweeters have been sued for defamation (see the Chris Cairns v Lilat Modi case, where Cairns won £90k over match-fixing allegations in March this year), but if McAlpine goes after EVERYONE who named him, then that will be a first and more likely than not a hugely expensive exercise. Libel's meant to be about vindicating damage to reputation, and McAlpine's has been wrongly trashed. Even if he does, he'll probably only go after those who explicitly named him. This may yet be a defining case on driving home the point that the law online applies just the same way as it does in the real world.

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15 Nov 2012 - 11:27
there17154's picture
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Witch hunters getting hunted, nice turn of events.

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