Ruling

Resolution statement: 02944-16 House of Lords v Daily Mail

    • Date complaint received

      30th June 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Summary of complaint

1. Benet Hiscock complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, on behalf of the House of Lords, that the Daily Mail breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Forget a lady’s name? That’s a sexist crime, Sir Martin!”, published on 6 May 2016.

2.    The complainant said that the article had inaccurately suggested that the House of Lords administration was appropriating tips intended for waiters. He said that, prior to publication, the newspaper had been informed that 100% of the gratuities paid in House of Lords catering outlets are distributed to catering staff. He said that the article had not made clear that the Christmas Fund, through which Members can make voluntary donations to catering staff and which funds a Christmas party for those staff, is entirely separate to tips collected through the year.

3.    The newspaper said it was satisfied that the article had made clear the accurate position. It said that the article had not suggested that the House of Lords was not distributing all gratuities to the catering staff, and had distinguished between the standard tips received and the special Christmas Fund. 

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.

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 offered to append the following footnote to the online article:

“The House has asked us to point out that 100% of the value of ordinary tips received are distributed to catering staff, save for NI deductions, of course.”

7.  The complainant said publication of the footnote would resolve 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: 16/05/2016
Date complaint resolved: 21/06/2016