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May 13, 2008

Now Tesco seeks front-page apology from Guardian

By Martin Stabe wirepost

Tesco is seeking a front-page apology from the Guardian in the latest twist to the libel row between the supermarket chain and the paper.

The demand comes in a seven-page letter from Tesco’s solicitors, Carter Ruck, complaining about the Guardian’s treatment of the case earlier this month, The Telegraph reports.

The supermarket chain launched a action for libel and malicious falsehood against the Guardian and its editor, Alan Rusbridger, last month over a story about the firm’s tax practices. On 3 May, the Guardian acknowledged some errors in its initial reports with a double-page spread of further reporting, an online story disclosing the newspaper’s own tax arrangements, a leading article and a short item in its “Corrections and Clarifications” column.

“The one paragraph ‘correction and clarification’ [is] utterly eclipsed by the surrounding articles, including the disgracefully self-serving and misleading editorial on the same page,” the Telegraph reports Carter Ruck’s letter as saying.

The Guardian, which has said it is “bewildered” by the Tesco case responded expressing surprise that Tesco would “treat a legal letter like a press release”. The paper’s formal reply in the case is due on Friday.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall resigned from Tesco’s board over the dispute.

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