Don't let this one slip under the radar. Heather Stewart writes:
The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has agreed to pay damages to an imam after repeating false claims that he was a supporter of Islamic State.
Suliman Gani found himself at the centre of a storm during the recent London mayoral election campaign when senior Conservatives including the prime minister questioned the judgment of the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan, for sharing a platform with him nine times.
David Cameron even suggested in the House of Commons that Gani supported Isis – something the imam fervently denied.
After Fallon made a similar claim in a BBC interview on 7 May – where, unlike Cameron in the Commons, he was not covered by parliamentary privilege – Gani began legal action.
Fallon withdrew the claim and apologised, as did the prime minister. But Gani pressed ahead with the case, and it has emerged that it was settled last Friday.
Fallon agreed to pay compensation and legal costs, thought to amount to several thousand pounds.
In a statement published on his website, Fallon said: “I accept that you are entirely opposed to Daesh/Islamic State, that you regard it as incompatible with your religious and moral beliefs, and that you have spoken out publicly against it.
“I repeat my apology for the error that I made and for the distress that it caused to you and your family.
“In recognition of that distress I have agreed to make a payment of compensation and to meet your reasonable legal costs.”
After the politicians made the claims, Gani told LBC radio that he feared for his life as well as those of his family and children.
He said he was “deeply shocked and greatly disheartened” that Fallon had made the comments about him “without any shred of evidence”.
A spokesman for Fallon said he had repeated the claims about Gani only because he had heard them being made by the journalist Andrew Neil on the BBC.
Neil subsequently withdrew them.
Fallon was “mortified” when he realised the mistake, his spokesman said.
Khan won the mayoral election, and his Tory opponent Zac Goldsmith’s campaign was criticised for being divisive.
Despite the prime minister’s attempts to bracket him with extremists, Khan has since shared a platform with Cameron as part of the cross-party Stronger In campaign in the EU referendum.