MST Requests Clarification on PCC Libel Settlement

The Media Standards Trust has today written to the chair of the Press Complaints Commission, Baroness Buscombe, about the libel action brought against her and the PCC by lawyer, Mark Lewis.

The press reported that Baroness Buscombe had formally apologised and paid damages to Mr Lewis following remarks made in a speech by the PCC Chair to the Society of Editors conference. But in an interview with Steve Hewlett on BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show this week, Baroness Buscombe suggested that no damages or apology had been made, and that it was not clear that anything she previously said was incorrect.

The MST has asked Baroness Buscombe three questions to clarify the situation:

  1. Did you and/or the PCC agree to pay damages to Mark Lewis to settle his libel suit against each of you?
  2. If so, how much were the damages?
  3. Did you concede that the comments you made about Lewis at the Society if Editors conference 2009 were misleading?

The MST’s letter, and a transcript of the interview, can be found at PCC Watch.