Ruling

Resolution Statement – 12008-22 A man v mylondon.news

    • Date complaint received

      8th December 2022

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy, 2 Privacy

Resolution Statement – 12008-22 A man v mylondon.news

Summary of Complaint

1. A man complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that mylondon.news breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Music from South London club so loud residents forced to move out of their homes at weekend”, published on 6 October 2022

2. The article reported on a hearing that had been held in relation to the licence of a nightclub. It reported that “[a] South London nightclub has had its opening hours slashed after the music was so loud neighbours had to move out of their homes at the weekend” and that “[t]he venue, which is also known as Southbank Nightclub, will only be able to open until 11pm moving forward. Previously, it could hold parties until 5am on weekends”. The article also stated that “[a] GP and a surgeon said they had to cancel appointments as they were so tired” and named the GP and the surgeon who had been present at the hearing. It went on to state that “One resident [the complainant], who lives three floors above the club, said he had been driven to try and buy a new property outside of Southwark to escape the noise”.

3. The complainant – the GP referred to in the article - said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 for a number of reasons. He said that the article inaccurately claimed that “A GP and a surgeon said they had to cancel appointments as they were so tired”; he said that this had not been heard at the hearing and instead it was heard that he was no longer working weekend clinics as a result of the noise. The complainant further said that the article claimed that “he had been driven to try and buy a new property outside of Southwark to escape the noise” which he said was untrue as he had attempted to sell the property and rent elsewhere, but it was not stated that he was trying to buy a new property.

4. He also said the article was inaccurate to state that “South London nightclub has had its opening hours slashed” and that “The venue, which is also known as Southbank Nightclub, will only be able to open until 11pm moving forward. Previously, it could hold parties until 5am on weekends”. The complainant said that while the licence had been amended on review, the pre-existing licence with the longer working hours was still in place pending the outcome of an appeal and that at the time the article was published the nightclub was permitted to operate as per it’s pre-existing licence.

5. The complainant said that the article had also breached Clause 2 as he considered no respect had been shown to his private, family, or home life, particularly as the article identified the building and the floor he lived on. He also said that no consent had been sought for the publication of his details, and he had experienced patients asking about the article.

6. Regarding the cancellation of appointments, the publication said that a recording of the hearing showed that the complainant had to stop working on weekends due to the noise, however it accepted that while there may have been less appointments available, this did not mean that appointments had been cancelled. Prior to the complainant complaining to IPSO, the publication amended the article accordingly and published a correction in relation to this point.

7. The publication did not consider that stating the complainant had “been driven to try and buy a new property” amounted to a significant inaccuracy given that he had been driven to move, regardless of whether this was renting or buying a property. In relation to the closing time of the nightclub, the publication said that this had been heard at the hearing, however it would be happy to add a sentence to the online article clarifying that the new hours were subject to an appeal.

8. In regard to Clause 2, the publication stated that it was entitled to report what had been heard at the hearing and was not obliged to seek permission; it provided recordings of what had been heard at the hearing.

Relevant Code Provisions

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.

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 2 (Privacy)*

i) Everyone is entitled to respect for their private and family life, home, physical and mental health, and correspondence, including digital communications.

ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. In considering an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information and the extent to which the material complained about is already in the public domain or will become so.

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

Mediated Outcome

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

10. During IPSO’s investigation the complainant said that he would consider his complaint resolved if the publication removed his name from the article.

11. The publication agreed to remove the complainant’s name from the article in order to resolve the complaint.

12. 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: 20/10/2022

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 21/11/2022