U.K.'s ITV Settles Libel Case for $200,000

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The settlement was reached with a veteran British politician who has been wrongly linked to a child abuse scandal and recently got $293,500 from the BBC.

LONDON - U.K. TV networks operator ITV said Thursday that it has settled a libel claim from a veteran politician at the center of the recent BBC crisis.

ITV said it and morning show host Philip Schofield struck an agreement with the politician, Lord McAlpine, and will pay him damages of $200,000 (£125,000) plus his legal costs. McAlpine was believed to have been pushing for $795,000.

ITV earlier in the week disciplined Schofield for a segment on ITV's This Morning, in which he had tried to hand a list of alleged child abusers, which he had found online, to Prime Minister David Cameron. Due to "a misjudged camera angle," some of the names were visible to viewers.

BBC flagship news show Newsnight had mentioned a veteran politician as being involved in a child abuse scandal without naming McAlpine, but viewers deducted that the report was about him. The BBC settled last week for $293,500 (£185,000).

"ITV and Phillip Schofield apologize unreservedly to Lord McAlpine, have agreed the terms of a statement to be made in open court, and have agreed to pay him damages of £125,000 and his legal costs," ITV said in a statement on Thursday.

U.K. media regulator Ofcom recently said it would investigate the ITV morning show incident and the BBC Newsnight report.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai