Guardian now admits libelling Tesco

The Guardian has admitted it libelled supermarket giant Tesco by falsely claiming that it set up an elaborate network of offshore companies to avoid paying up to £1 billion of corporation tax.

But is has said it will ‘strenously defend’a malicious falsehood claim by the company against both The Guardian and its editor Alan Rusbridger.

The move comes after the paper ran an apology on 3 May saying that it in fact believes Tesco’s alleged tax avoidance to involve £100 million of stamp duty land tax rather than corporation tax.

In the Guardian’s defence, filed to Tesco lawyers Carter Ruck, it is seeking to settle the matter via the Offer of Amends procedure.

This defence is available if the libel was unintentional – and is sometimes used by newspapers with libels caused by mistakes such as wrongly captioning photographs.

Under the Offer of Amends procedure The Gaurdian has agreed to publish a further correction and apology and it has offered to pay compensation and agreed costs.

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