Resolution Statement – 30126-20 Kenwright v
Summary of Complaint
1. Lawrence Kenwright complained to the Independent Press
Standards Organisation that liverpoolecho.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of
the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Lawrence Kenwright
remains silent as problems swirl around Signature Living”, published on 7 June
2. The article, which appeared only online, reported on the
complainant’s “silence” following a number of stories that had been published
about him and his business – stating that he had “not spoken publicly over a
number of major stories surrounding his troubled firm in recent weeks.” The
article then went on to say that “when [the publication] approached his
representatives [it was] told he had no comment to make at this time.”
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in
breach of Clause 1, as the publication had not approached his representatives
for comment, as reported in the article. Instead, it had approached his
previous representatives. He said that the newspaper would have been aware that
the organisation it had approached for comment no longer worked for him, and as
such it had published inaccurate information in stating that it had approached
his representative for comment.
4. The publication said it did not accept that the article
had breached the Code. It said that the reporter was not aware that the
organisation he had approached no longer worked for the complainant, and that
he had not been informed of this fact either by the complainant or the
organisation. It said that it had been informed two months prior to the
article’s publication that any requests for comment should be directed to the
administrator of the company – however, it also said the email informing the
writer of this implied that this was a short-term measure, and the reporter had
not been informed that the organisation would no longer work for the
complainant in the future. As such, the publication considered at the time of
publication that it had contacted the complainant’s representative, and did not
accept that it had failed to take care over the accuracy of the article.
Relevant Code Provisions
5. 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
7. The publication offered to remove the article, should
that resolve the complaint.
8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter
to his satisfaction.
9. 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: 04/11/2020
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 18/05/2021