The former aide to British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who sued comic Alan Davies over a libellous tweet, has died. Conservative politician Lord Robert McAlpine passed away at his home in Italy on Friday (17Jan14), aged 71. McAlpine was a longtime adviser to Britain's only female leader during her time at Downing Street during the 1970s and '80s. He was also a hugely successful fundraiser for the Conservative Party. McAlpine hit headlines in 2012 when BBC editors ran a report on its Newsnight programme about allegations of sexual abuse at a Welsh children's home, and accused a "leading Conservative politician... of sexually abusing boys in care". Jonathan Creek star Davies then asked his thousands of Twitter followers for "clues" to the alleged abuser's identity. He received a message mentioning the name of Lord McAlpine, which he then re-tweeted. The political adviser launched legal action against the British actor and was awarded $24,000 (£15,000) in damages in October (13).