I owe 'outcast' Peter Cruddas an apology, admits David Cameron
PM says he shouldn't
have subjected former Tory treasurer to 'public humiliation' following libel
victory against Sunday Times
Wednesday 07 August 2013
David Cameron has admitted he owes an apology to former
Conservative party treasurer Peter Cruddas, who was ostracised from the party
following newspaper sleaze allegations.
Mr Cruddas was dismissed from his role after the Sunday Times reported in March 2012 that he was charging potential donors £250,000 to meet the Prime Minister but has since won a libel action from the newspaper.
In the wake of the original newspaper report Mr Cameron gave a speech condemning Mr Cruddas's alleged actions as "completely unacceptable and wrong".
High Court judge Mr Justice Tugendhat criticised the Mr Cameron's response, saying he had subjected his former colleague to a "massive public humiliation".
"The Prime Minister did not know what Mr Cruddas had said. All he knew was what the Sunday Times had reported," said the judge in his finding.
Mr Cameron said he was "very sorry" about the treatment of Mr Cruddas, who claimed he was "cut off" by the party and "made to feel like an outcast" by the Prime Minister.
"I rather think I do owe him an apology," he admitted. "Had I known at the time how badly the journalists had behaved, I might have been in the position to take a different approach.
"I am very sorry about that. I congratulate Peter Cruddas on his victory and on the verdict he has won. I think it is very deserved.
"He has done a huge amount for this country. I look forward to meeting him after the summer."
Mr Cruddas, who was also awarded £500,000 in legal costs, said his "good name had been restored".
Speaking after the High Court ruling last week Mr Cruddas said, "My world was turned upside-down when that article was published. I remember vividly having to walk into my offices the day after the article was published and face 500 of my staff, many of whom had a clip of the Sunday Times interview on their video screens. It was humiliating.
"I was also embarrassed to accept invites to events which meant that my charities suffered. The Conservative Party cut me off within two hours of the story breaking and did not want to hear my side of the story.
"I was constructively dismissed from my role as party treasurer and made to feel like an outcast as the Prime Minister and the party lined up to criticise me on television and radio. This hurt me immensely and further damaged my reputation."
Mr Cruddas, who prior to becoming treasurer was one of the party's biggest donors, also succeeded in his claim for malicious falsehood against the weekly newspaper.
Following Mr Cameron's apology Labour MP Steve McCabe said: "If David Cameron thinks he owes Peter Cruddas an apology, perhaps he should invite him round to one of his famous dinners for donors in Downing Street to tell him to his face.
"Meanwhile, six weeks after David Cameron promised to publish the results of Lord Gold's internal inquiry into Tory Party donations, we're still waiting. It's time he got on with it."
The Sunday Times intends to appeal the High Court decision.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Joey Barton and Yossi Benayoun become involved in Twitter row over Israel-Gaza conflict
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich claims Noel Gallagher helped him kick his cocaine addiction
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...
£28000 - £33000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive (Digital Marketi...
£400 - £401 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SSIS Administrat...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...