IPSO has dismissed a complaint by Gordon Brown against the Spectator, over an article reporting that his office had received £124,494.99 for a four-hour speech for Sberbank in 2012. The Russian bank was sanctioned in February this year following the invasion of Ukraine. The primary basis of the former PM’s complaint was that the luxury all-inclusive speaking engagement — at a cost of £8 a second — was paid to ‘The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown‘, rather than, as he believed the headline implied, him directly. This is not the first time Gordon has bullied newspaper editors.
Brown argued that “an apology was merited, where the inaccuracies were: serious; had caused significant personal distress; and had caused serious harm to his reputation.” His evidence included two tweets from members of the public.
In short, IPSO ruled that “reading each version of the article as a whole, the true position was made clear: that the money paid by the bank for the complainant’s speech had not been received in a personal capacity, and was held by the office of the complainant and his wife.”
IPSO summed up their conclusion:
“The Committee did not find that any version of the article included significant inaccuracies or misleading information in need of correction.”
Gordon’s staffers should be on the lookout for flying paperweights this afternoon…