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Lord McAlpine, who was wrongly implicated in child sex abuse allegations, has formally settled his libel actions against the BBC and ITV at London's High Court today.
Commenting on the settlement reached with ITV and Phillip Schofield, Lord Mcalpine said: "I am pleased to have reached a pragmatic settlement".
Police will meet Lord McAlpine to "start the process of scoping whether any offence has taken place" in relation to Twitter users falsely linking him to child abuse allegations.
– Metropolitan Police spokesman
We have not received an allegation of crime at this time, however we can confirm we will be meeting with interested parties to start the process of scoping whether any offence has taken place. It is far too early to say whether any criminal investigation will follow.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Lord McAlpine issued the following statement:
Following the request that Twitter users who falsely accused Lord McAlpine of child abuse come forward, formally apologise and pay a sensible and modest amount in compensation to charity via solicitors RMPI LLP, the fixed donation amount is yet to be assessed.
However, this will be to Lord McAlpine’s charity of choice, BBC Children In Need, and will be in addition to an administration fee.
Given the large amount of information that continues to be disseminated, the band for which the charity payment will be settled shall be when Lord McAlpine has a full understanding of this material.
The donation is intended for tweeters with fewer than 500 followers, but those with larger numbers of followers are still encouraged to identify themselves and offer their formal apologies at this stage.
Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman called Lord McAlpine's legal action against Twitter users who wrongly linked him to child abuse claims "a wake up call".
The Shadow Culture Secretary told ITV1's The Agenda With Tom Bradby, "It's a reminder that it's [Twitter's] not a no-go zone for the criminal law or the civil law".
"I think Twitter helps with the news. You find out things so much more quickly - that is unless you're the Director General of the BBC," she added.
The Agenda will be broadcast at 10.35pm tonight on ITV1.
Lord McAlpine's lawyer said ITV should pay "a little bit more" compensation than the BBC over false claims linking the peer to child abuse because its infringement seemed to be "premeditated".
Andrew Reid told Channel 4 News, "They [ITV] don't quite see their transgression as being as serious as that of the BBC, whereas our advisors see it as being far worse, particularly because it looks as if it was premeditated".
Following comedian Alan Davies' apology to Lord McAlpine earlier this evening, Mr Reid said, "I'm surprised he hasn't apologised a lot earlier bearing in mind the huge amount of tweets".
Mr Reid said Twitter users with a large number of followers - such as Sally Bercow and Mr Davies - will be receiving letters before any legal action is taken.
Lord McAlpine said he wants to restore his reputation after Twitter users wrongly linked him to historical allegations of child abuse.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, he said, "Obviously I want to restore my reputation, but I also realise - because it happened to me - that you can get one call, you can get piece on a programme and all of a sudden this escalates to thousands and thousands of people who have this information".
"Two weeks ago I was living quietly in southern Italy gardening, passing my time of day. A retired figure who nobody heard of, nobody barely thought about and suddenly I find the whole world has collapsed on me".
The Conservative peer also said he was "in shock" following the BBC Newsnight report that sparked the false allegations.
Lord McAlpine said Newsnight did not contact him about the claims and that he was "amazed" the programme said it was unable to reach him by telephone.
Comedian Alan Davies has apologised to Lord McAlpine for naming him in relation to false child abuse allegations made against the Conservative peer.
Lord McAlpine's lawyers are in the process of suing everybody who wrongly linked the former Conservative MP to historical allegations of child abuse, including those who mentioned the claims on Twitter.
Tonight QI regular Mr Davies tweeted to his followers:
I've just written to Lord McAlpine to apologise for re-tweeting his name in relation to false allegations following a BBC investigation
The claims were sparked by a Newsnight report that did not name Lord McAlpine but referred to a senior Conservative from the Thatcher era, leading to the peer being wrongly identified online.