Home Secretary Michael Howard, Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicestershire East and Rupert Allason, Conservative MP for Torbay are heading for High Court libel showdowns. Howard is suing The Guardian over a story on 11 November headed "Fayed blames Howard as LBC radio deal fails". Vaz is suing The Sun over a story on 27 November headed "MP: I want a 'colony' of Asians". Allason is seeking damages over a 3 November story in General Practitioner magazine headed "MPs' ridicule angers GPs".
The Department of Social Security has launched High Court action to recover £163,000 after the theft of giro cheques, benefit order books and printing equipment from its offices. It has issued a writ against Joseph Camelot of HM Prison Old Elvet, Durham, and Marcelle Camelot of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Writ issued by PJK Thompson, London WC2. S188
A man who fell off an operating table during surgery has launched a High Court claim against the hospital authorities. Michael McLaughlin of Strabane, Co Tyrone accuses Guys and Lewisham NHS Trust of negligence. The writ says McLaughlin was rushed to the hospital in October 1992 after he severely injured his right leg in a road accident. During surgery the next day he fell off the operating table. Then a screw to be used in the operation fell into the wound and had to be retrieved, says the writ. Writ issued by Hudgell & Partners, London SE18. M206
Group Lotus and Lotus Cars are suing former group managing director Adrian Palmer and group financial director Andrew Tempest for damages alleging they secretly encouraged a takeover bid which would have earned them £500,000.
Writ issued by Warren-Thomas & Co, Milton Keynes.
Ex-company financial director Michael Cartwright has issued a High Court writ to his former firm Wakebourne and its chief executive Frank Emerson of Cuckfield, Sussex. The writ claims damages over comments by Emerson in a press release which said the comp any's accountancy and administration systems had proved inadequate. The release was used for articles in The Financial Times and IT trade press.
Writ issued by William Davies Meltzer, London EC4.