BBC reaches settlement
The BBC has agreed to pay £185,000 plus costs to Lord McAlpine for running a Newsnight report that mistakenly linked him to child abuse claims.
The news comes after the revelation that Ofcom has launched a probe into whether the BBC and ITV "applied generally accepted standards" in their treatment of allegations of child abuse, following a complaint from Tory MP Rob Wilson.
In an interview with the BBC’s World at One, Lord McAlpine expressed his anger that he had not been contacted by Newsnight before it broadcast its programme linking an unnamed Tory to the abuse.
“It gets into your bones; it makes you angry, and it’s extremely bad for you to be angry; it gets into your soul, and you just think that there’s something wrong with the world,” he said.
His lawyer also said he was “more than aware" that the licence fee payers were the ones ultimately funding the BBC.
ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham, told ITV news Phillip Schofield "realises his mistake, he apologised for it fully and extremely quickly" after a This Morning programme where the presenter confronted David Cameron with a list of names of people implicated in the child abuse scandal, which he'd found on the internet.
The chair of the Culture Select Committee John Whittingdale said: "It's all very well Phillip Schofield being the fall guy for this decision, but one assumes that there must have been some kind of legal advice that this was appropriate and it must have been approved at a higher level.
"I think we need to know how the decision came about in order to be confident that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again."