ITV pay compensation to McAlpine

ITV and Phillip Schofield have agreed to pay £125,000 to Conservative peer Lord McAlpine to settle his libel claim, after an incident on the This Morning programme in November.

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McAlpine lawyers to deal with 'high-profile tweeters' next

Lord McAlpine's lawyer told ITV News that now libel settlements have been agreed with BBC and ITV they will move to deal with 20 "high-profile tweeters".

Though solicitor Andrew Reid decline to name those Twitter users, he did said they would asked to pay damages in the thousands.

Asked about why the ITV settlement was lower than the BBC's, he said it was a "sensible settlement" and they had accepted ITV's position that "the fire was well lit" by Newsnight and Philip Schofield's actions "really just added oil to the flames".

Mr Reid also confirmed he spoke to Scotland Yard about those Twitter users who "maliciously" retweeted the Conservative peer's name in relation to the claims, which he described as "a criminal offence".

Lord McAlpine has asked those who wrongly accused him to apologise formally and pay a "sensible and modest amount", which he plans to donate to the BBC's Children In Need appeal.

Mr Reid added, "I think the Government having seen this will need, possibly, to have a clear piece of legislation to make sure that Twitter can't be used to bully".

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Report: McAlpine lawyers demanding more compensation from ITV than BBC

Phillip Schofield hands the Prime Minister a list of alleged abusers live on This Morning. Credit: ITV

He accepted £185,000 plus costs from the BBC last week over a Newsnight report, but the spokesman told the newspaper that ITV will have to pay more after This Morning host Phillip Schofield handed the Prime Minister a list of alleged abusers live on air.

The peer reportedly restricted the demand for compensation from the BBC because he was conscious that licence-payers’ money was involved, but the same does not apply to his action against ITV.

The spokesman said: “This was also done in broad daylight in a premeditated way in front of the Prime Minister.

"It was that programme that prompted Lord McAlpine to come out with his statement."

The Times reported that the broadcaster has been given until this afternoon to respond to a demand to pay damages.

McAlpine's lawyers set to target 'principle tweeters'

Lawyers for Lord McAlpine are expected to take a tougher line over "principle tweeters" who mentioned false child abuse allegations about the Conservative peer on the social networking site, The Sunday Times (£) reported.

QI regular Alan Davies, a reporter for TV station Al Jazeera, a Guardian journalist, the Managing Director of a public relations company and a former barrister are among thousands of Twitter users who alluded to the allegations, according to the newspaper.

Comedian Alan Davies' comments have come under attack Credit: John Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment

Lord McAlpine's lawyers have found 1,000 "original" tweets and an additional 9,000 "retweets" - in which an original message is forwarded on by another Twitter users - and said the case could involve the largest number of defendants in British legal history.

Mr Davies declined to comment on the story, the newspaper added.

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MP: Settlement is 'a very expensive lesson for the BBC'

Conservative MP Rob Wilson, who had written to Ofcom and to the BBC Trust over Newsnight's false reports, has told ITV News that the corporation's settlement with Lord McAlpine is an "expensive lesson" for the BBC and for the licence fee payer:

This is a very expensive lesson for the BBC that it must maintain the highest standards of journalism and fairness at all times.

The settlement is also expensive and particularly hard on the license fee payer.

Many license fee payers will be incensed that they are paying for a self-inflicted wound.

Unfortunately, a protracted court case may well have cost a great deal more.

– Rob Wilson, Conservative MP for Reading East
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