The Speaker's wife Sally Bercow has lost the first battle against Lord McAlpine in his libel action over her alleged Twitter slur. The peer's lawyers persuaded High Court judge Mr Justice Tugendhat to hear his case in two separate hearings. The first will decide whether Mrs Bercow's tweet last year - "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? innocent face" - was capable of being defamatory. If the tweet is found to be defamatory - which Mrs Bercow denies - a second hearing will rule on damages. Lawyers for Lord McAlpine have claimed that only a "moron in a hurry" would not have made the connection between her tweet and false allegations linking him to child sex abuse claims.
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