Tesco accepts Guardian apology

Newspaper makes front-page apology and payment to charity to settle libel claim

Tesco has accepted a front-page apology by The Guardian to settle its claim against the newspaper over articles making false allegations of tax avoidance.


The newspaper had published a series of articles in February 2008 making a number of allegations about the retail giant, including that it had created an elaborate off-shore corporate structure in order to avoid paying up to £1bn in UK corporation tax on profits from the sale of its UK properties. When Tesco complained about the articles the Guardian refused to take them down from its website. After proceedings were issued for libel and malicious falsehood the newspaper published a form of retraction and correction, but Tesco rejected this as inadequate.


In its apology, the newspaper admits that the damaging allegations “were unfounded and should not have been published” and accepts that its original correction was insufficient.


In addition to the apology, The Guardian will pay a sum by way of damages to a charity of Tesco’s choice and a payment by way of legal costs.


5RB‘s Adrienne Page QC and Justin Rushbrooke (instructed by Carter-Ruck) acted for Tesco.