Resolution Statement – 30126-20 Kenwright v liverpoolecho.co.uk
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 2020.
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 the matter.
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