Lawyers for Lord McAlpine, the man wrongly accused of being a child abuser by the BBC, are set to sue one of the U.K.’s most prominent Tweeters. Sally Bercow, the wife of the Speaker of the House of Commons, has refused to apologize for a tweet which linked McAlpine to the botched investigative report and which forced the resignation of the BBC’s Director-General, George Entwistle, just 54 days into the job (his predecessor, Mark Thompson, has just started as CEO of the New York Times).
McAlpine, whose life has been blighted by the revelations, has been pursuing large media organizations who linked him erroneously to a child abuse scandal in North Wales for six-figure sums. His lawyers estimated around 100,000 retweets of the allegations from various sources, which included Mrs. Bercow and environmental campaigner George Monbiot. McAlpine offered Twitter users redemption if they tweeted an apology and donated £5 to a children’s charity. Monbiot apologized; Mrs. Bercow deleted her Twitter account after she committed a second legal gaffe on the social media site. She has since returned to tweeting with a vengeance.