Steve Morgan CBE, the founder and Chairman of one of the UK’s leading housebuilding companies, Redrow PLC, has secured substantial damages and an apology following the settlement of his defamation claim against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers Limited.
The action followed various false and defamatory claims by the Daily Mail that Steve Morgan made significant personal gain by purchasing six Redrow houses, designated for sale as affordable homes, at a substantial discount to their market value.
At Steve Morgan’s request, a substantial payment has been made in full to charity in lieu of damages. This payment will be used towards adapted mini-buses for two special needs schools, Archer’s Brook in Ellesmere Port and Ysgol Gogarth in Llandudno. The buses enable severely disabled children to access offsite activities, promoting their independent living skills.
Mr Morgan, who was appointed CBE in 2016 for philanthropic services, and will be present today at the High Court in London to hear the apology, comments: “This is a significant victory against the Daily Mail and one which demonstrates that the publication cannot unjustly print defamatory and untrue stories without basis or reason.
“The suggestion that I would ‘greedily’ take self-advantage at the expense of low-income families is hugely insulting and has caused me a great deal of anger and distress. These allegations fly in the face of all that I stand for.
“It is a shame that it has taken 18 months for justice to be served and for the Daily Mail to recognise its wrongdoing, however, I am pleased the record has now been set straight and that we may now draw a line under this issue.
“I am particularly pleased that the substantial damages received from the Mail will be put to good use by providing specially adapted mini-buses which will improve the lives of the children at these wonderful special needs schools.”
Mr Morgan was represented by Himsworth Scott solicitors and by Counsel Justin Rushbrooke QC and Felicity McMahon.
Open court apology
A joint statement will be read aloud by both parties in open court today. This will be shared with you in a separate email later today.
Daily Mail publish apology
Additionally, the following statement was published in today’s Daily Mail and has also featured on the Mail Online: “An article of August 24 2017 headlined ‘Building tycoons using staff discounts to snap up homes meant for families’ said that Redrow PLC chairman Steve Morgan CBE had made a very large personal gain by buying six houses – built by Redrow as affordable homes – for £860,000, a substantial discount to their market value of £2.1m. In fact, £860,000 was the highest offer made, so we were wrong to allege that Mr Morgan had exploited his position to line his pockets in a greedy, unethical and morally unacceptable way. He did not buy the houses at a discount to their market value, and they are being rented out to local residents in accordance with affordable housing criteria. We apologise to Mr Morgan for the distress and damage to his reputation and, at his request, have made a substantial donation to charity in lieu of damages.”