London: The BBC reached a settlement on Thursday with the Conservative politician wrongly implicated in a child sex abuse scandal. The BBC has already apologised for linking 70-year-old Alistair McAlpine, a member of the House of Lords, to child sex abuse that happened decades ago in Wales. The mistaken report, broadcast nearly two weeks ago, has caused turmoil within BBC management ranks and led to the resignation of its chief.
The British broadcaster said on late Thursday it had resolved McAlpine's libel claim, calling it a "comprehensive" settlement that "reflects the gravity of the allegations that were wrongly made." The politician will receive 185,000 pounds ($293,200) in damages and the terms of the agreement will be announced in court in a few days, his lawyers told Britain's Press Association.
McAlpine said in a statement he was delighted to have reached a "quick and early" settlement and now will seek settlements from people who had named him on Twitter. Earlier, he told BBC radio he had been shocked by the report, which did not directly name him but led to Internet chatter about his purported role. He said the BBC had not contacted him to try to verify the report before it was televised on its "Newsnight" program.
"They should have called me and I would have told them exactly what they learned later on - that it was complete rubbish," he said. He expressed sympathy for the sex abuse victim who had mistakenly told BBC that McAlpine
09:06 AM, Nov 16, 2012