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Wednesday, January 21, 1998 Published at 13:18 GMT


Clark victorious in diary battle
image: [ Alan Clark: Not in court to hear the ruling ]
Alan Clark: Not in court to hear the ruling

The Conservative MP Alan Clark has won his High Court case against the London Evening Standard newspaper over a spoof diary column written under his name.

The court granted him an injunction banning the newspaper from continuing to publish the diary without making it clear that Mr Clark is not the author.

The Kensington and Chelsea MP has also been awarded financial damages.

He argued that the weekly feature "Alan Clark's Secret Political Diary" was damaging his reputation as a serious historian and man of letters.

Carry on publishing

As a result of the ruling, the column , which is written by journalist Peter Bradshaw, is now likely be called "Not Alan Clark's Secret Political Diaries". The photo of Mr Clark used in the newspaper may also have its eyes blackened out.

Peter Bradshaw: "I'm very flattered" (2' 14")
Mr Bradshaw said: " I just think it's the most bizarre and surreal business of my professional life. I'm very flattered that Mr Clark should go to all this trouble and expense in suing me like this."

He said the paper would continue to publish the spoof column and that the case had been very good publicity for his work.

"It's extraordinary that Mr Clark should make such a hefty investment in my writing, I'm very grateful to him ... we're all very fond of Alan, he's a monster, but a lovable monster ... I've grown to rather respect and admire him," he said.


[ image: Bradshaw:
Bradshaw: "He's a lovable monster"
Mr Clark had told the judge at a court hearing before Christmas that he was not trying to stop the newspaper printing the diairies. His objection was that the Standard failed to make it clear that he was not the author of the column.

He called 21 witnesses who said they had been confused about the true authorship.

He said he believed he would suffer economic damage because people might not buy his future books, including the second volume of diaries which he is currently writing.

But the Evening Standard's publishers, Associated Newspapers, argued that the column was so "whimsical and ludicrous" that ordinary people were not misled. They said it posed no threat to Mr Clark's reputation.

Mr Clark who has admitted several extra-marital affairs, is well known for being very frank about his past in his best-selling diaries.

The newspaper's lawyers said the extracts from the real diaries were far more salacious than anything the Standard had published. They said the newspaper spoofs had injured Mr Clark's "colossal personal vanity".

Max Hastings, the editor of the newspaper said he still had affection for Mr Clark but he was sorry that the MP was not prepared to be teased.

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