Roger Berry and Richard Carvath

Late last night (about 1am), I was made aware of a completely ridiculous and baseless accusation from Richard Carvath that I and/or Norman Owen have been involved in a blog-comment discussion over on the Swinton South Liberal Democrat site.

Apparently this claim has been made to Richard Carvath by an “anonymous electronic communication”.

I would like to state here, for the public record, I am not the mysterious Roger Berry. I do not write anything using the name Roger Berry nor do I know who Roger Berry is. He may or may not be a real person, it may be a pseudo-name; I do not know.

To Richard Carvath: I would expect more for someone who wishes to represent Salford in Parliament, fortunately with this display of childish and potentially illegal behaviour it’s increasingly unlikely to happen. Salford can breathe a sigh of relief that such a naive, irrational and comical character will not be a source of embarrassment.

I require a complete retraction on your own website (deleting the offending blog article will suffice). And on the Swinton South Liberal Democrat blog I require nothing less than a full ap0logy for accusing me of writing under the name of Roger Berry. Further, I demand to know who the “anonymous electronic communication” is from – I understand that Richard may not wish to make this individual’s identity public but I have a right to face my accuser(s), if indeed there are any other than Richard himself.

Clearly Richard’s posting on his own website and comment replies on the Swinton South Liberal Democrat blog were designed to harm Councillor Norman Owen’s public perception and my own. The accusations are baseless, defamatory and potentially libelous. If the accusations are not withdrawn in full, I will take legal advice and dependent upon that advice may issue proceedings against Mr Carvath.

It is simply not good enough to repeat groundless accusations and then state “I was only repeating what I had been told” – if you publish it on your own website, you are responsible for the content, regardless of the source.

I hereby give Richard Carvath 48 hours to delete the offending item from his website and publish an immediate retraction on the Swinton South Liberal Democrat website.

Finally, I suggest a suitable mark of regret would be a donation of £15 to Christie’s Hospital.