MP'S APOLOGY EXPECTED
Children's minister Margaret Hodge is today expected to make a public apology to the abuse victim she branded "extremely disturbed".
Mrs Hodge has already written to Demetrious Panton saying sorry for the slur.
But Mr Panton says he will sue if she does not make a full public apology, pay his legal costs and make a donation to charity by this evening.
Mrs Hodge's solicitors have been dealing with the demands which a friend said were "on the face of it not unreasonable".
But Lord Hattersley suggested she had been "very foolish" and should feel too "humiliated" to remain a minister.
The Labour peer said: "She's not perhaps vulnerable in the short term, but she has to do a number of things which many individuals would regard as such a humiliation as to be too great to endure - or at least too great to endure in office - perhaps endure from the back benches, but too great to endure in office."
Mr Panton, now a government advisor, was abused in a care home in Islington, the north London area where Mrs Hodge later became council leader.
The minister's slur came in a letter of complaint to the BBC about an investigation into the way she handled abuse claims when they came to light that featured Mr Panton.
She has already written to him apologising and promising never to repeat the allegation.
But Mr Panton said: "As a politician it is not simply good enough to say sorry. They need to explain why they did something.
"If she can't provide a satisfactory explanation as to why she described me as an extremely disturbed person then I am left with no alternative but to think that she did so out of pure malice."
Last Updated: 12:37 UK, Monday November 17, 2003
This woman is a joke, the more I hear from her the worse she gets.
The Islington Care Home abuse scandal was one of the biggest cover ups ever seen.
The home was run by Islington Council, and guess who was in charge of the council at that time ?