The Digger runs front-page apology to housing boss - Press Gazette

The Digger runs front-page apology to housing boss

An independent newspaper in Glasgow has printed a front-page apology to the chief executive of a local housing association after it ran a series of “serious, yet unfounded” allegations about him.

The Digger, an A5 weekly newsletter focusing on crime, ran the apology after settling a defamation claim brought by Robert Tamburrini, chief executive of the North Glasgow Housing Association.

Lawyers representing Tamburrini said the title had published a series of untrue stories about him over a two-year period.

The front-page apology said: “The articles contained a number of untrue allegations. In a subsequent court action, Mr Tamburrini was exonerated of any wrongdoing.”

It added: “The Digger magazine and its publisher, Mr James Cruickshank regrets publishing these serious, yet unfounded, allegations concerning Mr Tamburrini and we unreservedly withdraw them.

“We also unreservedly withdraw statements attributed to Mr Cruickshank in the magazine The Firm, in September 2007, which repeated the allegations against Mr Tamburrini.

“We sincerely apologise to Mr Tamburrini for any distress caused to him, his family or his employers by the publication of these untrue allegations.

“We have paid the costs of the court action brought against us and agreed to print this apology to resolve the matter.

“We are also paying, at Mr Tamburrini’s request, £1,000 to a charity of his choosing.”

The Digger was founded in 2005 by James Cruickshank, a former reporter on the Aberdeen Press and Journal, who publishes it out of a high-rise block of flats in a Glasgow housing estate.

The title has previously run into trouble with Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Police, which told Press Gazette in 2007 that it felt The Digger “does not seem to stick to the same rules as other journalists”.

North Glasgow Housing Association’s lawyers, Levy and McRae Solicitors, said in a statement: “The Digger published wholly untrue allegations about our client over the course of a two-year period and the front-page public apology demonstrates the seriousness of its actions.

“The Digger’s false articles seriously impacted on the reputation of our client and his employer, the North Glasgow Housing Association, and we are delighted with the outcome that involves the Digger paying Mr Tamburrini’s judicial expenses and £1,000 to a charity of his choosing.”