Resolution Statement: Complaint 02838-15 Lavington v The Daily Telegraph

    • Date complaint received

      9th July 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      3 Harassment

Resolution Statement: Complaint 02838-15 Lavington v The Daily Telegraph 

Summary of complaint

1. Allan Lavington complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Daily Telegraph had published an article, headlined “Church deacon sues pastor wife over flower arranging row”, on 3 February 2015, which raised a breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. 

2. The article reported on employment tribunal proceedings which the complainant had brought against his former wife. It was accompanied by a portrait photograph of the complainant. 

3. The complainant said that the photograph had been taken from his personal and confidential work file, and given to the newspaper. The publication of the photograph therefore intruded on his privacy. 

4. The newspaper said that the article reported on employment dispute which the complainant had put in the public domain by launching a legal case. It denied that there was a breach of Clause 3, but removed the picture from the online article. 

Relevant Code Provisions

5. Clause 3 (Privacy) 

i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications. 

ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information. 

iii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent. Note - Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. 

Mediated outcome

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

7. After further correspondence, the complainant said that he would be content to resolve his complaint on the basis that the newspaper had removed the photograph. 

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: 20/04/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 09/07/2015