Sally Bercow is probably regretting ever tweeting about Lord McAlpine now that her tweet has been found libelous at a High Court ruling in London.
The wife of Commons Speaker, John Bercow took to twitter two days after a BBC Newsnight programmed had wrongly implicated a “leading Conservative politician” in a sex absue accusation.
Sally tweeted Why is Lord McAlpine trending. *innocent face*.”
Well not so innocent face now Bercow, not so bloody innocent.
After publishing her comment about Lord McAlpine, Bercow then attempted to apologise in four subsequent tweets but continued to deny that her original tweet had been defamatory.
However, the judge ruled that the tweet meant that the Conservative peer was a “paedophile who was guilty of sexually abusing boys living in care”.
In a statement, Mrs Bercow responded: “I will accept the ruling as the end of the matter. I remain sorry for the distress I have caused Lord McAlpine and I repeat my apologies.
“I did not tweet this with malice, and I did not intend to libel Lord McAlpine. I was being conversational and mischievous, as was so often my style on Twitter.
“I very much regret my tweet, and I promptly apologised publicly and privately to Lord McAlpine for the distress I caused him. I also made two offers of compensation. Lord McAlpine issued proceedings and the last few months have been a nightmare. I am sure he has found it as stressful as I have. Litigation is not a pleasant experience for anyone.
“Today’s ruling should be seen as a warning to all social media users. Things can be held to be seriously defamatory, even when you do not intend them to be defamatory and do not make any express accusation. On this, I have learned my own lesson the hard way.”
Are we finally getting that we need to be careful about what we write on the Internet yet?
As well as being Editor here at The Spin Alley, Rachael is also a freelance journalist and blogger covering lifestyle, travel, culture, entertainment, media and online life for online and print publications.