Ruling

06076-15 O’Connell v Daily Express

    • Date complaint received

      1st December 2015

    • Outcome

      No breach - after investigation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

·  Decision of the Complaints Committee 06076-15 O’Connell v Daily Express

Summary of complaint 

1. John O’Connell complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Express breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “They’ve killed, raped, and violated children, but EU demands evil lags be given the vote”, published on 5 October 2015. It was published in the print newspaper with the headline “Outrage as EU set to enforce prisoners’ vote.” 

2. The article reported that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was shortly to rule that prisoners be allowed to vote, despite the UK Government’s previously rejecting such a measure. 

3. The complainant said that the headline reference to the European Union (EU) was inaccurate, as it was the ECJ that was going to make the decision (as explained in the article), and the two bodies are unconnected. 

4. The newspaper did not accept any breach of the Editors’ Code. It said that the ECJ is an EU institution; the reference was therefore not inaccurate. 

Relevant Code Provisions

5. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii) A significant inaccurate, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. 

Findings of the Committee

6. The ECJ is one of the institutions of the EU, and the article had made clear the specific body which was making the decision. The headline reference to the EU was not inaccurate. There was no failure to take care over the accuracy of the article, and the Committee did not identify any significant inaccuracies which would require correction under the Code. 

Conclusions

7. The complaint was not upheld. 

Remedial Action Required

N/A 

Date complaint received: 05/10/2015

Date decision issued: 01/12/2015