Clark sues over spoof diaries

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The Independent Online
Alan Clark, the Conservative MP whose published diaries convulsed the English political scene, begins a High Court action today over the London Evening Standard's weekly spoof of his lively doings.

At an estimated four-day hearing in the Chancery Division, before Mr Justice Lightman, the former defence minister (pictured right) is set to accuse the paper of "passing off".

He claims that readers have been duped into believing that articles written under his name were penned by him, or at least with his permission, when the opposite was the case.

Effectively, he says that the paper is trading on his reputation by publishing "Alan Clark's Secret Political Diary" - which is written by Peter Bradshaw and always carries his byline beneath the supposed attribution to Mr Clark.

Mr Clark, who re-entered Parliament as MP for Kensington and Chelsea at the last election, hogged the best-seller lists with his outrageous diaries which detailed his seductions and made generous side-swipes at friends and foes.

The newspaper column to which he has taken exception first appeared in the run-up to the election earlier this year. It adopted Mr Clark's unique style, reflecting both his aristocratic lifestyle at Saltwood Castle in Kent and his rakish reputation.

The newspaper is set to defend the action vigorously.

It maintains that the column is a "legitimate tease" and says that no- one in "their right minds" would think it was by Mr Clark.