Wakefield's lawyers hurl abuse rather than answer public interest questions

This page is material from the award-winning investigation by Brian Deer for The Sunday Times of London, the UK’s Channel 4 TV network and BMJ, the British Medical Journal, which exposed vaccine research fraudster Andrew Wakefield | Investigation summary

In response to letters from the producers of Deer's television investigation, Wakefield chose to answer nothing, but, through lawyers preferred to launch an attack on Deer's integrity. Here are numbered claims concerning Deer in a letter to Channel 4, dated November 4 2004 from solicitors RadcliffesLeBrasseur, acting for the Medical Protection Society, on behalf of Wakefield

1.  Mr Deer has already published a number of articles and publishes a website which extensively deals with these matters and from which his own views are demonstrably clear and not impartial.

2.  His published articles concerning Andrew Wakefield are in most cases demonstrably false, highly opinionated and clearly defamatory of Mr Wakefield. You should be aware that these matters are being reviewed by Leading Counsel.

 3.  It is clear and probably not disputed that Mr Deer is operating on his own agenda in respect of these matters and it is also right to say at this time that he has made a formal statutory complaint to the General Medical Council against Mr Wakefield and others concerning these matters.  That statutory inquiry within the auspices of the Medical Act and the GMC’s Fitness to Practice procedures is ongoing.  Mr Wakefield will be strongly contesting the allegations that have been made against him.

 4.  Whilst Mr Wakefield might have liked and has in the past constructively participated in the debate concerning MMR, you will understand that it would be completely inappropriate for him now to contribute or comment on these matters in circumstances where there is an unresolved and substantive complaint before the General Medical Council.

 5.  Mr Deer’s own published allegations in The Sunday Times are the subject of a current Press Complaints Commission investigation and it is perfectly clear that he is a campaigning journalist who is not impartial or editorially sound.

Later Andrew Wakefield published a statement on a website operated by Carol Stott, but didn't supply it to Brian Deer or Channel 4. The Stott website, calling itself mmrthequestions, was put up on November 14 2004 - four days before Brian Deer's documentary. In May 2010, Deer was vindicated by the GMC panel, with Wakefield permanently banned from practising medicine

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