McAlpine said that rumors spreading online and the actions of the BBC and ITV had left him with little option other than to comment. "In order to mitigate, if only to some small extent, the damage to my reputation I must publicly tackle these slurs and set the record straight," he said in a statement.
The politician said that he had never abused Messham or any other child, and had never visited children's homes or a hotel in the Welsh town of Wrexham where the victim told the BBC that sex abuse had taken place.
Meanwhile, Britain's television standards regulator Ofcom confirmed that it had received complaints about ITV's "This Morning" over its handling of the child abuse issue.
"The action of presenting a random list from the Internet of alleged 'suspects' to the prime minister, live on television, was a grave error of judgment," said Conservative lawmaker Stuart Andrew, who is among those to have filed a complaint.
Schofield, the ITV presenter, stressed it was never his intention to identify anyone on the list and apologized if viewers were able see names. "I was not accusing anyone of anything and it is essential that it is understood that I would never be part of any kind of witch hunt," he said in a statement.
ITV said in a statement it was "extremely regrettable" that a "misjudged camera angle" may have made names briefly visible. The broadcaster echoed Schofield in insisting that the program was not making any accusations against anyone in particular.
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