Lord McAlpine lawyer: Sally Bercow 'had wide readership'

Speaker's wife Sally Bercow is not "some kitchen table blogger", Lord McAlpine's lawyer told the High Court today.

Mrs Bercow is fighting legal action brought by the Conservative peer over an allegedly libellous tweet.

Lord McAlpine is seeking damages over a Twitter post which he claims alluded to false allegations that he was involved in sexually abusing children in a North Wales care home in the 1970s and 1980s.

Neither Sally Bercow nor Lord McAlpine were in court today. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Lord McAlpine's QC, Sir Edward Garnier, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that Mrs Bercow had 60,000 followers so her readership was bigger than some local newspapers.

"We are not talking about some kitchen table blogger addressing perhaps herself and one other person. We are talking about a pretty widespread readership", he said.

Neither Lord McAlpine nor Mrs Bercow were in court for the peer's contested application for the trial to be split in two, with the first hearing deciding the meaning of the tweet and - if that went in his favour - a second hearing on the appropriate level of damages.