Peer 'is not the man who abused me'

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Steve Messham has reportedly apologised to Lord McAlpine for linking him to child abuse allegations Steve Messham has reportedly apologised to Lord McAlpine for linking him to child abuse allegations

A child abuse victim has reportedly apologised to former Tory Party treasurer Lord McAlpine after confirming that he was not the man responsible for abusing him as a teenager.

Steve Messham was reported to have made a statement offering his "sincere and humble apologies" to the peer.

In a statement quoted by the BBC, Mr Messham said: "After seeing a picture in the past hour of the individual concerned, this (is) not the person I identified by photograph presented to me by the police in the early 1990s, who told me the man in the photograph was Lord McAlpine.

"I want to offer my sincere and humble apologies to him and his family."

Earlier, Lord McAlpine broke cover to issue a vehement public denial of the "wholly false and seriously defamatory" claims against him.

He has been the subject of intense speculation and innuendo since Mr Messham claimed last week he had been abused by a senior Conservative from the Thatcher era.

Representatives for the peer earlier said solicitors were preparing writs with a view to taking legal action against "all media who have defamed Lord McAlpine's reputation and published defamatory statements".

In his statement, Lord McAlpine said he had visited Wrexham "only once", and that that had been in the company of an agent from Conservative Central Office. They visited a relative of Lord McAlpine's and did not stay overnight, he said.

"I have never been to the children's home in Wrexham, nor have I ever visited any children's home, reform school or any other institution of a similar nature," Lord McAlpine said.

"I have never stayed in a hotel in or near Wrexham, I did not own a Rolls-Royce, have never had a 'Gold card' or 'Harrods card' and never wear aftershave, all of which have been alleged. I did not sexually abuse Mr Messham or any other residents of the children's home in Wrexham."

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