Alan Davies ordered to pay damages over tweet

British actor Alan Davies has paid damages to a former politician after he re-tweeted a post falsely linking him to a child abuse scandal. Last year (12) the BBC ran a report on its Newsnight programme on alleged sexual abuse at a Welsh children’s home, and accused a “leading Conservative politician… of sexually abusing boys in care”.
The Jonathan Creek star then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for “clues” to the alleged abuser’s identity. He received a message mentioning the name of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s advisor, Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted.
The politician launched libel action against Davies, among others in the public arena, and on Thursday (24Oct13), the actor agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Lord McAlpine, while apologising for the “great damage and distress” his actions caused.
After the hearing at London’s High Court, which neither party attended, Davies’ lawyer Steve Hudson said the star hopes the case makes people think about how they operate on social media.
He said, “Mr Davies hopes that as a result of this matter other Twitter users will be more aware of the potential damaging consequences of tweeting and be more careful in how they use that platform.”