On 17 April, we published a feature article which falsely suggested that Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor had leaked Liberal party polling in August 2007. This allegation was not checked with either Lynton Crosby or Mark Textor. They have strenuously denied this and we accept their denial. The false allegation has caused them serious embarrassment, and we regret repeating it.
On 18 April, we followed up with a report that there were serious but unspecified allegations against Crosby Textor which had yet to be brought before any Court. We accept that we knew of no specific matter which could support this claim when we made it, and that to publish in those circumstances was both very damaging and a serious breach of journalist’s ethics.
Finally we alleged that Crosby Textor engaged in racism and thuggery. We acknowledge that this is not the case. We deeply regret having made this suggestion.
We sincerely apologise to Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor for the hurt and damage caused to them by our reports. We acknowledge that had we reported fairly, the compensation we have paid to them would not have been necessary.