The Sun has told lawyers acting for Business Secretary Vince Cable to "get stuffed" after they demanded an apology following the paper's exclusive yesterday (top) stating that he had been fined £500 by the Revenue for failing to register for VAT.
Private Eye-style, the Sun has published the letter from Cable's lawyers Goodman Derrick which says: "The article contained significant inaccuracies, misleading statements and distortions of the truth."
The lawyers accuse the Sun of publishing "gratuitous errors" and listed five areas where they say the paper got the story wrong.
Among them were claims that Cable was not fined, but paid a fixed penalty, and did not avoid tax. The letter also alleged the paper breached the Press Complaints Commission Code of Conduct.
The lawyers demanded a prominent correction and an apology on pages four and five of today's edition.
But a defiant Sun says: "The Sun replied to Dr Cable's lawyers last night — but our letter may have disappointed him. In polite language, we told him to get stuffed. We wrote: 'With respect, we do not accept that the article is inaccurate, misleading or distorted or that it breaches the PCC Code. We do not accept your client's complaint.
" 'We said failing to register for tax IS avoiding paying. And we pointed out the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a fine is: 'A sum of money exacted as a penalty'."
- The Sun yesterday tried to give Cable a personal finance guide called Bookkeeping For Dummies but he refused to take the gift from reporter Andy Crick.