Bloomberg News

Ex-Tory Deputy Chairman Ashcroft Sues BBC Over Tax Documentary

October 13, 2011

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Ashcroft, former deputy chairman of British Conservative Party, sued the British Broadcasting Corp. over a “Panorama” television documentary about his stock ownership and tax affairs.

Ashcroft, a former board member at Tyco International Ltd, filed the lawsuit against the BBC on Oct. 10 in London, according to court documents.

The documentary scrutinized Ashcroft’s business interests in Belize and his offshore tax status. Its October 2010 broadcast was delayed by two weeks amid objections from Ashcroft.

While details of the claim haven’t been released by the court, BBC spokeswoman Helen Deller said the lawsuit was over the episode of “Panorama.” She declined to comment further.

Alan Kilkenny, a spokesman for Ashcroft, didn’t respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

Ashcroft, a member of the U.K. House of Lords, has sued other media companies that investigated his financial holdings. He said on his website that he sued the Times newspaper in London in 1999 and filed a suit against the Independent in 2009, according to court records.

As chairman and chief executive officer of ADT Ltd., he negotiated its sale to Tyco International for $6.7 billion in 1997, his website said. Ashcroft was deputy chairman of the Conservative Party between 2005 and 2010.

The case is: The Lord Ashcroft KCMG v. British Broadcasting Corp., HQ11X03768, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division.

--Editors: Anthony Aarons, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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