Ruling

Resolution Statement 01612-18 Wadsworth v The Jewish Chronicle

    • Date complaint received

      9th May 2018

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement 01612-18 Wadsworth v The Jewish Chronicle

Summary of Complaint 

1.  Marc Wadsworth complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Jewish Chronicle breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined " Labour hearing into activist who abused Jewish MP postponed indefinitely”, published on 19 January 2018. 

2. The article reported that a disciplinary hearing into the actions of the complainant, who had been suspended from the Labour Party over allegations of antisemitism, had been postponed “indefinitely”. The article said that the complainant’s “verbal abuse” of  a Jewish MP, during the launch event of a report into “Jew-hatred in labour” had caused outrage among moderate party members and the Jewish community. 

3. The complainant denied “abusing” the Jewish MP; he said that he had challenged her during the launch event. 

4. The newspaper did not accept that the term “abuse” was a misleading characterisation of the complainant’s comments at the launch event. It said that the complainant had caused unwarranted offence by making an unannounced and entirely inappropriate attack on the Jewish MP, in front of TV cameras as she sat in the audience at a high-profile launch.  The newspaper noted that the article had made clear the complainant’s position that he was unaware that the MP is Jewish.

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.

Mediated outcome 

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

7.  Following IPSO’s involvement, as a gesture of goodwill, the newspaper changed reference to “abuse” in the article to “challenged”. It also offered to publish the following footnote online: 

A previous version of this article reported that Marc Wadsworth had been accused of “abusing” a Jewish MP. Marc Wadsworth denies “abusing” the politician, and, instead, says that he challenged her during the launch event. We have amended the text and headline to reflect Mr Wadsworth’s position. 

8.  The complainant said this resolved the matter to his satisfaction. 

9.  As the complaint had been mediated successfully, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.

Date complaint received: 15/02/2018

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 26/04/2018