Dan Wootton gets last laugh as Guardian apologies over false allegations

The Guardian has apologised and agreed to make a payment to former GB News presenter Dan Wootton after reporting that he was under police investigation.

It is one of a number of publications and individuals facing the threat of legal action from Wootton for invasion of privacy, and the first to opt for a settlement.

Wootton complained over an article headlined “Police investigating allegations Dan Wootton solicited explicit images” which was published on 2 October 2023 and removed from The Guardian website the following day after complaints from his lawyers.

His lawyer Donal Blaney argued that it is now well established in UK law that people who are the subject of a police investigation have a right to privacy unless they are charged with a criminal offence.

The Guardian said in a published apology: “We apologise to Mr Wootton for the article. Last week, the Metropolitan Police and Police Scotland said they had concluded their investigations and are taking no further action. Mr Wootton has restated that the police inquiries have exonerated him of any criminal wrongdoing.

The Guardian said it has paid an unspecified contribution to Wootton’s legal costs. Press Gazette understands it is a significant sum.

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