Commons Speaker's wife Sally Bercow is due at the High Court for a hearing over her allegedly libellous tweet about Tory peer Lord McAlpine,

The former Conservative Party treasurer is seeking damages over a posting which he says meant that he was a paedophile who was guilty of sexually abusing boys living in care.

Mrs Bercow has always denied that her November 4 tweet, "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*", was defamatory.

It followed a Newsnight report that wrongly implicated Lord McAlpine in child sex abuse allegations.

In February, the peer, who has already received six-figure payouts from the BBC and ITV, announced that he was dropping defamation claims against Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers and instead asked for a charitable donation to BBC Children In Need.

The hearing before Mr Justice Tugendhat is only concerned with the actual meaning of the words complained of - both a natural and ordinary meaning and an innuendo meaning.

If the judge rules in Lord McAlpine's favour, there will be a hearing at a later date on the appropriate level of damages unless the two sides agree a settlement.