A Conservative councillor will pay “substantial” damages and legal costs to Jeremy Corbyn for tweeting a doctored photograph of the former Labour leader at the scene of the Liverpool terrorist attack.
Paul Nickerson, a councillor on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, apologised and has taken “full responsibility” for the tweet, which showed Mr Corbyn laying a poppy wreath at the burning taxi outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
It was captioned: “Unsurprisingly.”
Mr Corbyn said his lawyer brought legal proceedings for libel against Mr Nickerson and they have now come to an agreement but the amount the councillor has agreed to pay has not been revealed.
In his official apology, Mr Nickerson said the fake photo gave “the completely untrue impression that Jeremy Corbyn supports terrorist violence including suicide bombings”.
“Without any hesitation, I wholly accept he does not,” he added in a statement he tweeted out on Tuesday.
“Without reservation, I fully withdraw any suggestion or inference that Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter of terrorist violence.”
The councillor said the tweet was “wrong and I retract it” as he “unreservedly and sincerely” apologised to Mr Corbyn “for the hurt and distress” caused by the tweet.
He also admitted that posting the message the day after Remembrance Sunday, when the attack happened, “aggravated the hurtful nature of the defamatory tweet”.
Mr Nickerson originally tweeted out an apology on the day of the photoshopped tweet but his fresh apology is part of the agreement with Mr Corbyn’s lawyer.
Mr Corbyn said the image “failed to understand the seriousness of the threat and did a disservice to all those affected by the attack and their loved ones”.
The Islington North MP, who called the terror attack “a horrific crime”, welcomed the apology and said Mr Nickerson had agreed to not repeat the tweet, which he has deleted.
“This substantial settlement will be used to support charities that are close to my heart: including one in Liverpool and one in my constituency,” he added.
Mr Nickerson has been suspended by his council’s Conservative group and its leader last week said “inappropriate remarks” would not be tolerated.
Jonathan Owen said: “Following an inappropriate and offensive message, which appeared on councillor Paul Nickerson’s Twitter feed, I have suspended him from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Conservative group with immediate effect and an investigation will now take place.”