Lord McAlpine has moved to reassure Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers that he does not intend to cause ‘hardship’ for them as he pursues damages – although those with more will be subject to individual action.
The words came in a letter issued to all Twitter users who fell below that threshold who had tweeted or re-tweeted his name in relation to child abuse allegations arising from a botched Newsnight investigation.
Tweeters who have personally apologised to McAlpine’s lawyers, RMPI, are being asked to provide personal details such as home address, occupation and Twitter details so that the peer can decide how much they should donate to charity, possibly as little as £5, to the BBC’s Children in Need.
An enclosed reconciliation form asks for the number of followers the individuals account has, whether the libellous tweet was original or a re-tweet, whether the tweet has been deleted and (in the case of a re-tweet) the source of the original.
No requests are made for salary or financial statements.
The letter said: “Once we have analysed the information we will let you know how much we shall be asking you to donate to…Children in Need.
“It is not this firm or Lord McAlpine’s intention to create any hardship.”