Resolution Statement 20525-17 Sutcliffe v

    • Date complaint received

      15th March 2018

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement 20525-17 Sutcliffe v

Summary of complaint

1. Liz Sutcliffe complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) in an article headlined, “'Rural Wales is not for sale' says campaigner over plans to turn former pub into holiday home”, published on 2 December 2017.

2. The article reported that an emergency meeting had been called to discuss a planning application to turn a former pub into a holiday home. It went on to give local residents’ concerns about the plan.

3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate: there was no plan to change the use of the property to a holiday home; rather, the planning application was for change of use to a residential property.

4. The newspaper said that the information the article was based on had been provided by a campaigner, and was published in good faith. It said that it had tried to contact the complainant for her version of events, but she did not want to speak.

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.

Mediated outcome

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

6. Following IPSO’s investigation, the publication said it was happy to amend the online article to reflect the fact that there was no intention for the pub to be turned into a holiday home. It also offered to append a footnote to the online article as follows:

A previous version of this article suggested that planning permission had been submitted for [the pub] to be turned into a holiday home. We would like to make clear that this is not the case and that the plans are for residential use only, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

7. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to her 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: 08/12/2017

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 28/02/2018