Robertson fails in second claim against newspaper
Thu 29 Jun 2006
A JUDGE has rejected a second claim for defamation damages against a Sunday newspaper from Lord Robertson, the former Labour MP and defence secretary.
He settled an earlier action by accepting £25,000 plus legal expenses and an apology from the Sunday Herald, which carried an allegation he was responsible for the Dunblane school massacre.
He sought another £25,000 over the way the paper reported the out-of-court deal, but at the Court of Session yesterday, Lord Reed dismissed the case.
Lord Robertson had alleged that the report made him out to be irrational and bullying, but the judge said no reasonable reader would have taken such a meaning from the article.
In 2003, amid concern that documents relating to the Dunblane shootings were to be kept secret for 100 years, it was speculated that prominent people had been closely connected to the gunman Thomas Hamilton through his freemasonry.
A reader put a posting which referred to Lord Robertson, then secretary general of NATO, on the Sunday Herald's website forum. It was removed after he complained, but he later raised a claim for £200,000 damages. A settlement was agreed in 2004.