Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 00459-16 McConnell v Scottish Daily Express

    • Date complaint received

      13th April 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy, 9 Reporting of crime

·  Resolution Statement: Complaint 00459-16 McConnell v Scottish Daily Express

Summary of complaint

1. The Rt Hon Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Scottish Daily Express breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 9 (Reporting of crime) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “My brother will pay it back, claims carer who stole from OAP”, published on 28 January 2016.

2. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had identified him in relation to ongoing court proceedings, to which he was not a party. He said that he had not been approached for comment in advance of publication.

3. The newspaper said that the complainant was genuinely relevant to the story, given the evidence heard in court. It said that the article had not been inaccurate or misleading and there had been no breach of the Code.

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.

(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.

Clause 9 (Reporting of crime)

(i) Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.

6. The newspaper said that, on reflection, it accepted that the complainant had not been named in the evidence heard in court, and that it had not approached the complainant for a response prior to publication. It apologised to the complainant in a private letter.

7. The complainant said the letter had resolved the matter to his 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: 29/01/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 13/04/2016