Lord Ashcroft, Panorama and a herbivorous Liberal Democrat Peer

Yesterday’s Press Gazette  highlights that the Panorama programme broadcast, entitled Secrets of the Tory Billionaire, on Monday night may help the Independent defend the libel case brought against it by Lord Ashcroft.

In a development that you couldn’t make up, the Independent, in its own coverage of the programme,  referred to Lord Ashdown when talking about the Conservative Party’s major benefactor.

This prompted our own Paddy Ashdown to write to the paper with, The Voice suspects, his tongue firmly wedged in his cheek

“It is one thing to misrepresent my position on the benefit cap as you did last week, but quite another to confuse me with Lord Ashcroft, the Tory funder of Belize fame, as you did yesterday in your report “Lord Ashcroft accused of hiding business links to ‘corrupt” islands”.

Please reassure your readers that I am a quiet little herbivorous Lib Dem living a life which offends no one in a small cottage in Somerset.”

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4 Comments

  • David Allen 1st Feb '12 - 4:56pm

    Interesting point Jailhouse. As it happens, Paddy is sufficiently well known that the Indy’s subtle distortion of the message will not actually have misled anybody. A less well known complainant, if published making a statement about being a quiet little herbivore living a life which offends no one in a small cottage in Somerset, might very well have been presumed to be simply telling it like it is.

    If a newspaper can’t get it right when it is already in the dock for its previous mistake, when can it get it right?

  • Not sure the description of Paddy “living a life which offends no-one” is particularly accurate though 🙂

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