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Speaker's wife defends nightclub kiss photos

Sally Bercow, the wife of the House of Commons Speaker, said she has "nothing to be ashamed of" after The Sun published pictures of her apparently kissing another man on a night out.

Sally Bercow said she has 'nothing to be ashamed of' Credit: PA

“The guy in the picture is a friend. End of," she told the Evening Standard. "I can’t wait until John finishes being Speaker, maybe then the media will leave me alone.

“My marriage is my business," she said. "I couldn’t give a damn what people think. Let people judge me if they want."

The 44-year-old described her husband as the "most important man in my life" and said the pictures were taken on Saturday at a friend’s birthday party.

"Yes, I go out and have fun, but I have done nothing to be ashamed of," she added.


McAlpine's libel action against Bercow settled

Lord McAlpine's libel action against the House of Commons Speaker's wife Sally Bercow has been formally settled at the High Court.

Lord McAlpine's QC, Sir Edward Garnier, told the judge that Mrs Bercow had apologised for her "irresponsible use of Twitter" following a report that falsely implicated the Conservative peer in abuse allegations.

Sally Bercow and Lord McAlpine reached a settlement over the tweet. Credit: PA Wire

Mrs Bercow's QC, William McCormick, said today: "Mrs Bercow wishes and hopes that as a result of this matter other Twitter users will behave more responsibly in how they use that platform. She certainly intends to do so herself."

He added that should Mrs Bercow reactivate her Twitter account, it is now a legal requirement that she must formally issue her apology on it.

Sally Bercow 'must now accept' tweet was defamatory

Lord McAlpine's lawyer said Sally Bercow "must now accept" that her tweet about the Conservative peer was defamatory after the High Court ruled it was libellous.

Andrew Reid of RMPI Solicitors said:

The apologies previously received from Mrs Bercow did not concede that her tweet was defamatory. Clearly she must now accept this fact.

The failure of Mrs Bercow to admit that her tweet was defamatory caused considerable unnecessary pain and suffering to Lord McAlpine and his family over the past six months.

Mr Justice Tugendhat's judgement is one of great public interest and provides both a warning to, and guidance for, people who use social media.

Judge: Bercow tweet would be taken as 'ironical'

The High Court judge who ruled a tweet by Sally Bercow about Lord McAlpine was libellous said her followers - who numbered 56,000 - would likely know by the time of her post the elements of the story told on Newsnight.

"In my judgement, the reasonable reader would understand the words 'innocent face' as being insincere and ironical", Mr Justice Tugendhat said.

The High Court judge ruled Sally Bercow's tweet about Lord McAlpine was libellous. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

"There is no sensible reason for including those words in the tweet if they are to be taken as meaning that the defendant simply wants to know the answer to a factual question".

The reader would reasonably infer that Mrs Bercow had provided "the last piece in the jigsaw".

Her tweet, by implication, was a repetition of the accusation with the addition of the name which had previously been omitted.

"It is an allegation of guilt. I see no room on these facts for any less serious meaning", the judge said.


Bercow: Tweet ruling 'should be seen as a warning'

Sally Bercow said the High Court's ruling that her tweet about Lord McAlpine was libellous "should be seen as a warning to all social media users".

Mrs Bercow said in a statement that she did not write the tweet "with malice" and "did not intend to libel" the Conservative peer.

I was being conversational and mischievous, as was so often my style on Twitter.

I very much regret my tweet, and I promptly apologised publicly and privately to Lord McAlpine for the distress I caused him. I also made two offers of compensation.

Lord McAlpine issued proceedings and the last few months have been a nightmare. I am sure he has found it as stressful as I have. Litigation is not a pleasant experience for anyone.

– A statement by Sally Bercow

Sally Bercow 'surprised and disappointed' by ruling

Sally Bercow said she was "surprised and disappointed" after the High Court ruled a tweet she wrote about Lord McAlpine was libellous.

Sally Bercow, wife of Common's Speaker John Bercow, said she was 'surprised and disappointed' by the ruling. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Mrs Bercow added, "However, I will accept the ruling as the end of the matter. I remain sorry for the distress I have caused Lord McAlpine and I repeat my apologies".

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