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British TV network pays damages over false child sex claim

Published on Nov 22, 2012 10:48 PM

LONDON (AFP) - British commercial television network ITV said on Thursday it had paid out 125,000 pounds (S$243,893) to a senior politician wrongly linked to child sex abuse by one of its programmes and the BBC.

ITV apologised "unreservedly" to Lord Alistair McAlpine, who is at the centre of a row that felled the BBC's director-general, and said they agreed to pay his legal costs on top of the 125,000-pound settlement.

The presenter of chat show This Morning, Mr Phillip Schofield, ambushed Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this month with a list of Conservative politicians that were being named in Internet gossip as paedophiles.

Lawyers for Mr McAlpine, who was Conservative treasurer under former premier Margaret Thatcher, said the stunt sparked an avalanche of libellous Internet posts falsely linking him to paedophilia in the wake of the BBC report.

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