Archbishop's aide to sue over abortion story

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The former spokesman for the Archbishop of Westminster, Austen Ivereigh, is headed for a £250,000 High Court showdown with Associated Newspapers.

Ivereigh complains that a Daily Mail story headed ‘Archbishop’s aide accused of abortion hypocrisy’was defamatory and is demanding damages for libel from the publishers.

Ivereigh, a Roman Catholic, is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of his claim. The story, which appeared on 24 June, 2006, carried the tag line ‘Cardinal’s trusted adviser ‘gave girlfriend no choice but to have a termination'”, according to a writ issued in London’s High Court.

Ivereigh says the story caused his reputation grave damage and he also suffered embarrassment and distress.  After the story appeared, he was forced to resign from his job and has taken part-time work.

He says he has lost benefits, including the status of his previous position and has lost the chance of writing articles and commentary for the media. While the damage from the Daily Mail article continues, it will be impossible for him to recover his standing and find another appropriate position, he says.

Ivereigh says his losses amount to £46,000 a year from his job, additional occasional earnings of around £2,000 a year and loss of opportunity to progress to a more senior job within the church.

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