Thursday 12 February 2009

Guardian's £804,000 Tesco legal bill makes you 'weep' for freedom of expression

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has revealed that law firm Carter-Ruck has billed the paper for £804,000 in legal costs arising from Tesco's libel action against the paper last year, Press Gazette reports today.
Rusbridger, speaking at the Press Gazette Media Law conference, said the bill was lodged by Carter-Ruck despite the The Guardian making an "offer of amends" - using a procedure intended to minimise costs by a publisher admitting it is wrong.
He told the conference the £804,000 figure "bears no relation at all to the damages claimed" and, pointing to the bill, said: "To read this document you would weep for the cause of freedom of expression in this country".
Press Gazette says: "The Guardian wrongly stated that Tesco was avoiding £1bn of corporation tax and later published a front page apology stating that in fact the supermarket was alleged to have avoided £100m of stamp duty land tax."

No comments: