On 24th August 24 2017 the Daily Mail ran a story headlined ‘Building tycoons using staff discounts to snap up homes meant for families’. It claimed that Steve Morgan 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 an apology published on Tuesday this week, the newspaper acknowledged that it was wrong. “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.”
The newspaper added: “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.”
Responding to the resolution of his legal action, Steve Morgan said: “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 minibuses which will improve the lives of the children at these wonderful special needs schools.”