Book publisher says sorry to Andrew Gilligan


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The Independent Online

Journalist Andrew Gilligan accepted a High Court apology from publisher Faber and Faber today over passages in a biography of former London mayor Ken Livingstone that suggested that he had been sacked by the Evening Standard newspaper.

The book, entitled You Can't Say That, referred to a series of articles Mr Gilligan wrote while working at the Evening Standard about the allocation of grants by the London Development Agency at the time that Mr Livingstone was mayor, his counsel Korieh Duodu told Mr Justice Tugendhat today.

Mr Duodu said: "The articles led to Mr Gilligan being named journalist of the year at the British Press Awards in April 2008."

But the book said that Mr Gilligan was "shown the door" by the Standard and editorials were subsequently published which "said that there had been no corruption or cronyism at City Hall", Mr Duodu told the judge.

"In context, this may have been understood by a portion of the book's readership to mean that Mr Gilligan was sacked by the Standard and that his articles were then recanted by the newspaper.

"The true position is that Mr Gilligan was not sacked. He left of his own volition to join the Telegraph. No such editorials have been published by the Standard and Mr Gilligan's articles continue to be available on its website."

He said Faber and Faber agreed to the statement in open court to make the position clear, and the publisher and Mr Gilligan had "agreed other terms of redress" which would remain confidential.

Solicitor Martin Soames told the court: "On behalf of Faber, I accept what Mr Duodu has said and apologise to Mr Gilligan. For the avoidance of doubt, Faber did not intend to make either of the suggestions complained of and is happy to resolve any misunderstanding through this statement."

The publisher said in a statement: "Faber is pleased that Andrew Gilligan's complaint about You Can't Say That by Ken Livingstone has been resolved by agreement and without the need for legal proceedings.

"The matter is now closed and we have no further comment to make. The paperback edition is now in the shops, price £9.99."