I regret to inform the House that a written answer I gave on 5 December 2013, Official Report, column 809W, to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) was incorrect.
The right hon. Member asked me how many libel settlements and of what value the Crown Prosecution Service made in each year between 2007 and 2012.
The data concerning the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were incorrect and it was stated that the CPS made no libel settlements between 2007 and 2012.
The correct answer is as follows:
Details of individual payments in respect of libel settlements are not specifically identified on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accounting system. A review of manual records retained on civil claims indicates that in the period from 2007 to 2012 the CPS made two libel settlements:
£52,000 made up of £25,000 initial damages, a subsequent additional £2,000 damages and £25,000 costs.
£59,035 made up of £5,035 damages and £54,000 costs.
Although every effort has been made by the Department to ensure that the information provided is correct and comprehensive the manual nature of the records means that it is not possible to provide complete assurance. To do so would require a review of all payments made since 2007 which would incur a disproportionate cost.