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Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston calls for 'paedophile slur' apology

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

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DR SARAH Wollaston has criticised a Labour backbencher who used parliamentary privilege to claim there was a paedophile ring linked to Downing Street.

The Totnes MP (pictured) said while the BBC could be held accountable in court for its 'outrageous and devastating slur' against Lord McAlpine, who was wrongly implicated in a child sex abuse scandal by Newsnight, Tom Watson could not.

She felt the Labour MP for West Bromwich East should apologise.

Speaking in the Commons, Dr Wollaston said: "While the BBC can be held accountable in a court of law for its outrageous and devastating slur on an innocent man, the member for West Bromwich East cannot.

"Do you agree with me he should have been here this afternoon to make an apology?"

Responding, culture Secretary Maria Miller said: "I think these are things for him (Mr Watson) to think about for himself but I fully understand the point she makes."

It came as controversy continued over the £450,000 pay-off given to former director general George Entwistle after just 54 days in post.

The Prime Minister is among those who have said it is 'hard to justify' in the wake of the botched investigation by the BBC's current affairs programme.

Ms Miller described it as a 'reward for failure' but said ultimately it was a matter for the BBC Trust to decide the figure.

BBC chairman Lord Patten said the payment was agreed to avoid 'long drawn-out discussions and continuing uncertainty'.

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  • CharlieDodd  |  November 29 2012, 4:45AM

    Regarding the whole paedophile thing, kids should be brought up to IMMEDIATELY report any abuse at the time it happens, not to wait many years before reporting it.

  • Charlespk  |  November 28 2012, 3:12PM

    @BS_Hater Yes we do. Chrisrtopher Jefferies the teacher from Clifton Bristol was outrageously slurred. And even the amount of compensation he received won't repair the damage done.

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  • Charlespk  |  November 28 2012, 3:04PM

    And anyone guilty of casting such an untrue slur should be fined heavily or imprisoned. . You can't have one law for the Press and the Media, and another for the Facebook, Twitter or online morons.

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  • BS_Hater  |  November 28 2012, 2:03PM

    We never hear claims of 'outrageous slur' against anyone else named and shamed for such things then found innocent do we??? Anyone accused of such crime should be thoroughly compensated if found innocent. Imagine trying to rebuild your life after such a thing..