Erin Pizzey, the prominent feminist and writer, has won her libel complaint against Macmillan Publishers in respect of allegations contained within Andrew Marr’s ‘A History of Modern Britain.’ As well as apologising through a Statement in Open Court, Macmillan has recalled all unsold copies of the book and has agreed to pay Ms. Pizzey a significant sum in damages.
Erin Pizzey and Macmillan Publishers Limited (Press)
Press Release 1 April 2009
Today a statement agreed by the parties was read in open court, bringing a welcome conclusion to Erin Pizzey’s complaint against Macmillan. As was widely reported in the Press, this complaint arose from comments made within Andrew Marr’s ‘A History of Modern Britain’ (published by Macmillan). The book suggested that Erin Pizzey was a “cadet enthusiast” of Britain’s terror group, the Angry Brigade, and had only broken with the group over their plan to bomb the Kensington boutique, “Biba,” in May 1971.
Macmillan has accepted that these allegations are entirely without foundation and has today apologised for the distress and embarrassment that have been caused to Erin Pizzey. All unsold copies of the book have been recalled and all the allegations will be removed from all future editions. Macmillan has also agreed to pay a significant sum to Ms. Pizzey to compensate her for the distress and embarrassment that she has suffered.
“I am both relieved and delighted that this matter has now been amicably resolved,” said Erin Pizzey.
Notes to editors:
In 1972 Erin Pizzey opened the country’s first women’s refuge on Belmont Terrace in Chiswick and has since dedicated her career to advancing awareness of domestic violence. She has written extensively on the subject of domestic violence (Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear, Prone to Violence, Infernal Child) and has been internationally recognised for her work in this field.
The parties are not at liberty to disclose the level of damages received by Erin Pizzey;
Any enquiries should be directed to Edward Yell of Carter-Ruck, who were instructed by Erin Pizzey in this matter.
Statement In Open Court
Erin Pizzey and Macmillan Publishers Limited (Statement)
1 April 2009
Edward Yell, Solicitor for Erin Pizzey:
My Lord, I appear on behalf of Erin Pizzey and my friend [Mr Shan] appears for Macmillan Publishers Limited. We are here in connection with a book published by Macmillan entitled “A History of Modern Britain” written by Andrew Marr.
Erin Pizzey is known for her public role in exposing domestic violence as a major social problem. She set up the country’s first women’s refuge, located on Belmont Terrace in Chiswick, in 1972 and has over the years continued advancing such causes.
On page 330 of the book, “A History of Modern Britain”, a reference is made to Erin Pizzey being a “cadet enthusiast’ who broke with Britain’s terror group, the Angry Brigade, over their plan to bomb the Kensington boutique, “Biba”, in May 1971.
These allegations are entirely without foundation. Ms Pizzey has never been a sympathiser or supporter of the Angry Brigade or their violent methods or their objectives as Macmillan Publishers accepts. Macmillan is here today to withdraw the allegation unreservedly and to apologise for the distress and embarrassment which the publication has caused to Ms Pizzey.
Niri Shan, Solicitor for Macmillan Publishers Limited:
On behalf of Macmillan Publishers and Mr Marr, I confirm all that has been said on Erin Pizzey’s behalf. Mr Marr had intended to make an entirely complimentary reference to Ms Pizzey quitting the milieu of radical politics to go off and do something self-evidently useful but accepts that the phrase could be easily misinterpreted. The phrase originated from a misreading of words used in a newspaper article.
Macmillan Publishers accepts that Erin Pizzey was never a supporter of the Angry Brigade or its violent methods or its aims and objectives. Macmillan Publishers and the author sincerely apologise to Ms Pizzey for the distress and embarrassment caused by this error. They have agreed to recall all unsold copies of the book, to remove the allegation from future editions and to pay a significant sum to compensate Ms Pizzey for the damage she has suffered. They have also agreed to pay her reasonable costs.
Edward Yell for Erin Pizzey:
Erin Pizzey is content to accept what my friend has said on behalf of Macmillan Publishers and to let this matter rest.
on behalf of the Claimant
on behalf of the Defendant
Erin Pizzey was represented by Edward Yell