Sally Bercow loses libel case brought by Lord McAlpine
This morning a judge at the High Court ruled that Sally Bercow’s tweet last November about Lord McAlpine suggested that he was a “paedophile who was guilty of sexually abusing boys living in care” and therefore libelous.
Afterwards, Mrs Bercow, who now faces a huge legal bill, stated she was “surprised and disappointed” by the ruling and issued the following statement:
“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. I did not tweet this with malice, and I did not intend to libel Lord McAlpine. 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”.
“Today’s ruling should be seen as a warning to all social media users. Things can be held to be seriously defamatory, even when you do not intend them to be defamatory and do not make any express accusation. On this, I have learned my own lesson the hard way”.
Mrs Bercow might have a big mouth but we view this to be a sad day for freedom of speech and common sense.