Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 12:30 UK

Campaigner accepts libel damages

Erin Pizzey
Campaigner Erin Pizzey has denied ever supporting the Angry Brigade

Campaigner Erin Pizzey has accepted undisclosed libel damages over claims that she supported British terror group the Angry Brigade in the early 1970s.

Ms Pizzey, who set up the UK's first women's refuge, took High Court action against Macmillan, publisher of Andrew Marr's A History of Modern Britain.

Macmillan accepted that she had never been a member of the left-wing group, which carried out a series of bombings.

They apologised and agreed to pay a "significant sum" in compensation.

The Angry Brigade was responsible for bomb attacks in Britain between 1970 and 1972.

Ms Pizzey's solicitor, Edward Yell, told Mrs Justice Sharp that the book had referred to her having been a "cadet enthusiast" who had broken with the Angry Brigade over a plot to bomb the Kensington boutique Biba, in May 1971.

He said: "These allegations are entirely without foundation. Ms Pizzey has never been a sympathiser or supporter of the Angry Brigade or their violent methods or their objectives, as Macmillan Publishers accepts.

"Macmillan is here today to withdraw the allegation unreservedly and to apologise for the distress and embarrassment which the publication has caused to Ms Pizzey."

It emerged last month that Pan MacMillan, the publishers of the book had urgently recalled all unsold copies for legal reasons.

It had accompanied a five-part BBC documentary series in 2007.

Complimentary reference

MacMillan's solicitor Niri Shan said that Andrew Marr had been trying to make a complimentary reference to Ms Pizzey, by describing how she had quit radical politics to go and do something obviously useful, but he accepted that the phrasing could have been misunderstood.

He said that the publishers accepted that Ms Pizzey had never been a supporter of the Angry Brigade, and that they'd apologised while agreeing to pay a significant sum in compensation.

After the hearing, Ms Pizzey, 70, said "I am both relieved and delighted that this matter has been amicably resolved."

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