Cherie Blair wins damages and apology from NoW

The News of the World has apologised to Cherie Blair, wife of the former prime minister, and paid her damages after she pursued legal action against the paper.

Blair launched a legal action after the publication on 5 October last year of an article by columnist Carole Malone said she was “inhuman” in her responses to questions from the parents of crime victims during a panel discussion.

Atkins Thomson, solicitors instructed by Blair, issued a statement today saying Blair had reached a settlement with News International‘s Sunday redtop after it agreed to apologise and pay damages and legal costs.

Graham Atkins, partner of the London law firm, said: “The article said that Mrs Blair had no empathy or understanding for what these people had gone through. The allegations were unfounded.

“Mrs Blair was greatly upset by this article, and instructed this firm to issue proceedings for libel. Our client has spent a considerable period of time investigating and highlighting for public attention issues relating to crime in this country.

“She was formerly the patron of Victim Support London and is still a fervent supporter of this organisation.”

The statement follows publication in yesterday’s News of the World of a brief article which said: “Several criticisms were made of Cherie Blair after she appeared as a panellist at a fringe meeting attended by prominent victims of crime.

“In particular, it was not right to say Mrs Blair arrived with hordes of security men, only appeared for publicity and was ‘inhuman’ in her responses about the Human Rights Act.

“We apologise for these assertions which we accept were unfounded.”

Blair’s solicitor said damages from the News of the World would be paid to her foundation. Press Gazette understands the damages amounted to a four-figure sum.

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