IPSO has contacted newspapers about recent coverage of the Passport Office’s current backlog. The current Director General of the Passport Office, Abi Tierney, is according to IPSO
“concerned about the presence of the press and photographers in the vicinity of her home in Leicestershire and wishes to make clear that she and her family do not wish to be approached for comment or photographed in the vicinity of her home”.
IPSO also tells newspaper editors that
“Dr Tierney will not be commenting on the story and asks that all requests for comment be directed to the Home Office Press Office”
Normally we have some sympathy for people swamped by press camped outside their home. Her press officer admits the crisis hit passport office boss “occasionally” works from home. So it is her place of work, even though it is 107 miles from her desk in the Victoria HQ.
Thousands of people are waiting for passports, holidays are being ruined and Abi Tierney needs to get her arse into gear and sort out the backlog. Or better still, resign. She can send her resignation letter by post, from home.
Yesterday Guido’s eye-witness report of Alastair Campbell’s ill-fated awards compèring clearly touched a nerve. Campbell spat back denying various aspects of the story. A dodgy dossier it was not…
Oh dear. Number 10 puppy ‘Guido’ getting a tad obsessed again. On Brexit,show of hands of 500 people in room, one said it was going well. Probably Puppy pal. On transition team we had what we call good banter and I said they did good job raising awareness Brexit happening 1/2 https://t.co/gD5EIAAQdU— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) November 10, 2021
Guido does have a correction to make regarding yesterday’s supposedly sexed-up story: Campbell claimed that our photo showing a table of his books had gone unsold, misrepresented the truth.
We now accept that was incorrect. Multiple sources tell Guido they were in fact made available free of charge. Couldn’t even give them away…
Humiliation for the Muslim Council of Britain, as their media spokesperson has lost an IPSO complaint against the Telegraph. Miqdaad Versi had made a complaint that an op-ed entitled “We’re not drifting into segregation, we’re hurtling perilously towards it”, written by Nick Timothy, breached Clause 1 (accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The complaint has now been thrown out.
In the article, Timothy referenced a letter to schools from Gavin Williamson, “warning that while pupils are allowed to express political views, anti-Semitic language and threats must not be tolerated”, going on to state:
“In response to the Williamson letter, Miqdaad Versi, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, complained that the Government was being ‘one-sided’. The letter, of course, was not about events in Israel, but the harassment of British Jews. In suggesting there might be two sides to racism, Versi revealed more than he intended about why the Government refuses to engage with the MCB.”
Versi argued that Timothy’s interpretation of his views was “based on misinterpretation of a Twitter thread he had posted” and claimed “he was calling on the government to also take action on the discrimination and racism encountered by Muslim children”
In the end neither party disputed that the alleged breach of Clause 1 had appeared in the context of the op-ed, merely disputing whether the alleged breach was presented as fact or comment within the comment piece. The body ultimately commended the Telegraph for publishing a letter from Versi, allowing him to put his point of view across…
Matt Hancock has written to IPSO demanding they protect his children by stopping the publishing of the picture of him and Gina Coladangelo snogging in his Ministerial office:
I am writing to ask your help to protect my children, following widespread media coverage of my personal life in the last few months.
Now, more than three months after my resignation as Secretary of State, there is no longer any public interest whatsoever in any publication about my private life, or the private life of my partner Gina Coladangelo or either of our families. While a perfectly reasonable case could have been made while I was in Government, there is clearly now no public interest case for invasion of our privacy. I am grateful to the many publications that no longer carry such inappropriate material.
Over the past two days pictures have been published of Gina and I on a private visit abroad. There was no public interest case in doing so. We have also been approached by members of the press relating to our private lives.
Specifically, there is no public interest justification for continued publication of the photograph and video first published that led to my resignation. The continued publication of this picture and video is causing significant harm to our children.
I would therefore request that all media outlets:
– cease publication of any material relating to our private lives, whether photographic or written
– cease publication of the past photograph and video
None of the parties with any knowledge of our private lives will be commenting to the media on these matters in the foreseeable future.
I would be grateful if you could alert IPSO members to our very clear position on this matter, and reinforce the importance of your members’ adherence to the Editors’ Code.
That horse has bolted through the office doorway. As for the video of Matt and Gina in Split which was circulating widely on social media after a holidaying Briton spotted them and whipped their smartphone out, asking IPSO to intervene would not make any difference. More importantly, as Matt told parliament after the Leveson Inquiry, when he was the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:
“Over many centuries in Britain, our press has held the powerful to account and been free to report and investigate without fear or favour. These principles underpin our democracy and are integral to our freedom as a nation.”
The harm done to his children was, as he must know in his heart, a consequence of his own actions. The pictorial reminder disappearing from the papers won’t change that…
Readers have been getting in touch to tell us they have been complaining to IPSO about the Sunday Mirror’s false claim that Dominic Cummings made a second visit to Durham. They put the story on their front page apparently based on a single anonymous source. IPSO’s complaint form is here.
As the commentariat runs out of any new ammunition to fire at Cummings, it is worth reflecting on some of the inaccuracies in the original stories run jointly by the Mirror and Guardian on Friday, many of which have subsequently been proven demonstrably false. They might want you to forget some of these…
❌Claim: “Dominic Cummings visited parents’ home while he had symptoms.” BBC, May 22.
✅Fact: Cummings did not enter his parents’ house, nor come into contact with his parents: “At this farm, my parents live in one house. My sister and her two children live in another house, and there was a separate cottage roughly 50 metres away from either of them.” The Independent, May 26.
✅Fact: At the time of the first articles, Cummings was not under investigation by the police. In fact Durham police, under media pressure, only began an investigation into Cummings last night.
✅Fact: The police did not visit Cummings or his father. All communication was via phone
❌Claim: “In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the guidelines around self-isolation and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.” The Guardian, May 22.
✅Fact: Three days later, Durham Police clarified they offered “no specific advice” on Coronavirus lockdown, instead they offered “security advice”
✅Fact: No proof at the time, no proof emerged since. Cummings Rose Garden conference argues mobile phone date proves he was in London at the time and did not return to Durham. Funny how the Mirror haven’t since brought up this second ‘exclusive’…
Given it is open, under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the IPSO Code, to any newspaper reader to bring complaints to IPSO about the accuracy of stories, it is inevitable that the Mirror will be forced by IPSO to publish corrections. In particular the Mirror will have to withdraw their false claim about a second visit in due course. Over to you co-conspirators…