Letter: Libel case facts

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your short report ("Libel damages for Tory candidate", 27 February) of the Statement in Open Court clearing my name of lies peddled by the defunct Scallywag magazine merely states that they concerned false charges that I was planning a "dirty tricks" campaign against Labour.

When I began these proceedings, however, you ran a much longer report (18 February, 1995) spelling out in grisly detail that I had also been accused of putting covert pressure on my political opponents over private financial and sexual matters, and of being "rumoured to be a raving homosexual" myself.

It was rightly stated and accepted in court that I have never "collected sexual or private financial information" about any political opponents; that I am not homosexual myself; and that I have never had a sexual relationship with any male.

This smear of hypocritical, secret homosexuality has caused great harm to me, as your reporter must have anticipated in 1995 when gratuitously republishing it in the context of my issuing libel proceedings. Now that I have won substantial damages (pounds 29,500 to date, not pounds 16,000 as you reported), you should at least have the decency to set the record straight.

Dr JULIAN LEWIS

New Forest East Conservative Association

Cadnam, Hampshire

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