Resolution Statement 16888-17 Clare Moseley and Care4Calais v Daily Mail
Summary of complaint
1. Clare Moseley and Care4Calais complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mail breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “How British charity boss who fell for a bogus Calais refugee is in fear of her life”, published on 1 July 2017.
2. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had inaccurately reported that the “true story” behind the closure of the Care4Calais’s operations had been an arson attack allegedly carried out by a former volunteer. In fact, the operations had been suspended as a result of a change in circumstances on the ground and because of a restructuring process. This decision had been made before the arson attack. The complainant was also concerned that the article had stated that she was “in fear of her life” following the arson attack, when she had made no such comment.
3. The newspaper did not accept any breach of the Code. It said that it had contacted the complainant before publication, and it had included the response it received in the article. However, in an effort to resolve the matter, it offered to append the following clarification to the online article:
Care4Calais has asked us to make it clear that, while the arson attempt precipitated their decision, the charity’s trustees had already decided to suspend operations before the attempt took place, following a period of restructuring that began in January, and was not predicated on the attack. Ms Moseley also informs us that she is not in fear of her life following that incident, as we had stated.
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.
5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
6. During IPSO’s investigation of the complaint, the newspaper offered to publish a correction with an apology in print and online. It also offered to remove the article from its website. The wording was as follows:
An article dated July 1 suggested that the suspension of operations at Care4Calais was a result of an attempted arson attack. Care4Calais say the charity’s trustees had already decided to suspend operations prior to the attack, following a period of restructuring that began in January, and was not predicated on the attack. Ms Moseley also informs us that she was not in fear of her life following that incident, as we had stated. We are happy to make the position clear and apologise for any contrary impression given.
7. The complainant said that the newspaper’s offer would resolve the matter to her satisfaction.
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: 15/07/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 21/08/2017
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