Solicitors engaged over Flat Earth News

Sunday Times assistant investigations editor David Leppard has engaged law practice Carter Ruck after being outraged at his depiction by Guardian journalist Nick Davies in his book Flat Earth News.

The book, released last week and serialised in Press Gazette, has also produced a furious response from former Observer political editor Kamal Ahmed and former Observer editor Roger Alton – who are singled out for individual criticism, but so far the only legal letter received by Davies's publisher about the book is from Leppard. He is angry about allegations made in the book in a chapter looking at The Sunday Times, where Davies describes the 'long, slow demise of truth telling at the paper".

Leppard refutes Davies's allegations in robust terms, writing in Press Gazette this week and has accused him of producing a 'toxic tissue of rumour and innuendo". He said that he was not given the opportunity to respond to the allegations before publication of the book. Leppard is currently 'reserving his position'legally – but has not ruled out taking further action in the future.

Sunday Times managing editor Richard Caseby said: 'Davies is wrong on so much it's hard to know where to begin. His book is an example of the shoddiest knitting I've ever come across. Pull one thread and the whole garment falls apart.'

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