Resolution Statement 06505-17 Dash v thesun.co.uk
Summary of complaint
1. Gregory Dash complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that thesun.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “’I like Corbyn but…’ Jeremy Corbyn campaign website exposed over dubious claims he is not ‘a terrorist sympathiser’ who would send taxes spiralling”, published on 20 April 2017.
2. The article reported that a website called “I like Corbyn but…” had been set up to answer common questions about Jeremy Corbyn, such as if he was “a terrorist sympathiser” or would “send taxes spiralling.” The article reported that “the website described itself as ‘created by volunteers' " but was “registered by senior Labour official Greg Dash, who is an adviser to the party’s election campaign Chair.”
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate as he had not registered the website. He also said that the article suggested the Labour party were responsible for the website, which had been created and maintained by volunteers.
4. The publication did not accept that it had breached the Code. The publication said that a website showing who had registered a domain name displayed the complainant's name three times. The publication also said it was not misleading to state that the complainant worked for the Labour party, as this was a matter of fact.
Relevant Code provisions
Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. Following IPSO’s intervention, the publication removed the complainant’s name from the article. They also added the following clarification to the article:
In an earlier version of this article we reported that the website welikecorbynbut.com, was registered in the name of Dr Greg Dash. We would like to clarify that Dr Dash was not the person who registered this website.
8. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
Date complaint received: 21/04/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 03/07/2017