Complaint 14165-16 Versi v TheSun.co.uk
Summary of complaint
1. Miqdaad Versi 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 “British Muslims are so cut-off from society they think 75 per cent of the UK is Islamic, report reveals”, published on 4 December 2016.
2. The complainant said that the report referred to in the article had not stated that Muslims in some areas were so isolated that they believed the UK was 75 per cent Muslim. Rather, the report had referred to one mainly Asian school in which a survey had found that pupils believed that Britain was between 50 and 90 per cent Asian.
3. The newspaper did not accept any breach of the Code. However, it amended the reference to the 75 per cent statistic to make clear that it referred to Asian pupils’ views of the Asian population and it appended a footnote to make clear that the article had been amended.
Relevant Code provisions
4. 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.
5. Following the start of IPSO’s investigation, the newspaper contacted the complainant directly and offered to amend the article to make clear that the report had referred to the views expressed by pupils at one school. It also offered to amend the footnote to include an apology and it said it would publish a standalone correction on its corrections page. The wording of the footnote was as follows:
We previously reported that the Casey Review said that some segregated Muslims believe Britain is 75 per cent Islamic. This was incorrect. In fact the review cited a survey of pupils in one largely Asian school who thought 50-90 per cent of the population of Britain were Asian. We apologise for the error.
6. The complainant said that the newspaper’s offer would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.
7. 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.
complaint received: 15/12/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 06/03/2017