A TORY PEER who was mistakenly named in stories about sexual abuse is on a crusade to punish those who associated him with the case.
Lord McAlpine has already received damages from the BBC and is said to be eyeing up cases against 10,000 Twitter users, one thousand of whom named him as a suspect and nine thousand who retweeted, that is, repeated their allegations.
His solicitor, Andrew Reid told the Mirror newspaper that the 10,000 might just be the start.
"We have been watching people who have been taking down what they put on Twitter. We already have all the information. We have found a couple of firms of experts who have produced pretweets, post-tweets, the effect of the tweets and the retweets. What starts at one ends up as 100,000 in some cases," he said.
"Twitter is not just a closed coffee shop among friends. It goes out to hundreds of thousands of people and you must take responsibility for it. It is not a place where you can gossip and say things with impunity, and we are about to demonstrate that."
The BBC has already paid the peer £185,000 damages plus costs, and we do not know whether he will require money or an apology from the tweeters.
One target, Sally Bercow, the wife of the speaker of the House of Commons has confirmed that she has been approached by the lawyers after she posted a message that asked why McAlpine was trending. "Had letter from Lord McA," she tweeted. "His lawyers ambulance chasers tbh #bigbullies."
We've asked McAlpine's lawyers to comment. µ