Alan Davies could pay out 200,000 over Lord McAlpine false child abuse tweet

Alan Davies 'could pay out 200,000' over Lord McAlpine false child abuse tweetThe six-figure sum would be donated to charity if agreedStar made comments after BBC2’s Newsnight programme aired in November He wrongly suggested Lord McAlpine was a paedophile to 400,000 followers

By
Amanda Williams

PUBLISHED:

14:10 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:24 GMT, 24 March 2013


Comedian Alan Davies may face a payout of up to 200,000 for linking Tory MP Lord McAlpine to false claims of child sex abuse on Twitter

Comedian Alan Davies may face a payout of up to 200,000 for linking Tory MP Lord McAlpine to false claims of child sex abuse on Twitter

Comedian Alan Davies may be forced to pay out up to 200,000 for linking Tory MP Lord McAlpine to false claims of child sex abuse on Twitter, it has been reported today.

Lawyers for the former Conservative party treasurer are reportedly seeking the six figure settlement from the actor, which will then be donated to charity, the Sunday Times reports.

The Jonathan Creek star made the comments online after BBC2’s Newsnight programme wrongly claimed that a politician had abused boys at a Welsh care home last November.

Mr Davies tweeted 'Any clues as to who this Tory paedophile is…'

He then retweeted a response naming McAlpine to his 400,000 followers.

He has since written to Lord McAlpine and apologised.

Lord McAlpine was accused after a shambolic BBC report led to his name being spread around the internet as a child abuser, which was completely untrue.

Newsnight had not named him but referred to a senior Conservative from the Thatcher era, leading to his identification online.

Guardian columnist George Monbiot and Sally Bercow, wife of the Commons speaker, were among other high profile Twitter users to wrongly name the peer, or infer that he was involved in the scandal.

Mr Monbiot tweeted: 'I looked up Lord McAlpine on t'internet. It says the strangest things.' Monbiot later apologised on his blog admitting his deep regret over what happened.

He has said he will be carrying out charity work to the value of 25,000 after agreeing a settlement with Lord McAlpine, the Sunday Times reports.

Mr Monbiot had some 55,000 followers at the time of the tweet. Mr Davies had eight times as many – so the sum he may have to pay could be as much as eight times as Mr Monbiot.

McAlpine has already agreed a
185,000 deal with the BBC and a 125,000 package with ITV after This
Morning presenter Phillip Schofield accidentally flashed a list of
alleged paedophiles to camera before handing it to the bemused Prime
Minister.

Lord McAlpine was accused after a shambolic BBC report led to his name being spread around the internet as a child abuser, which was completely untrue

Lord McAlpine was accused after a shambolic BBC report led to his name being spread around the internet as a child abuser, which was completely untrue

McAlpine has already agreed a 185,000 deal with the BBC and a 125,000 package with ITV after This Morning presenter

McAlpine has already agreed a 185,000 deal with the BBC and a 125,000 package with ITV after This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield accidentally flashed a list of alleged paedophiles to camera

Lord McAlpine had originally been seeking damages from all who falsely named him, but he dropped his legal case for defamation against Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers – instead asking for a charitable donation.

He wrote to them asking them to make a voluntary donation of 25 to the BBC’s Children In Need as soon as possible.

At the time of the settlement Lord McAlpine said: ' 'Whilst I reached a settlement last year with both the BBC and ITV, I would like to now draw this unfortunate episode, forced into my life, to a close,' he said.

'I have dropped all claims against those tweeters with less than 500 followers, in return for a very modest donation to BBC Children In Need, which funds 2,600 projects supporting disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

'I have requested that my lawyers, RMPI LLP, focus on the action against Sally Bercow and that damages arising from this are donated to a charity of her choice.

'I am not intending to make any further comment on this matter.'