IPSO Drop Investigation into Rayner’s Basic Instincts

Guido hears a line has finally been drawn under the row sparked from the Mail on Sunday by Glen Owen about Angela Rayner’s legs. In April the MoS published a now-notorious piece, “Tories accuse Angela Rayner of Basic Instinct ploy to distract Boris: MPs claim Labour deputy leader likes to put PM ‘off his stride’ by crossing and uncrossing her legs at PMQs”At the time IPSA received over 6,000 complaints from pearl-clutching members of the public, however because many of the complaints related to accuracy they could only proceed were Rayner to put forward her side of the story.

“Such an investigation would not be possible without her involvement, and because of this, we declined to consider complaints made under this Code clause. This does not affect the ability of Ms Rayner to make a complaint on this point.”

Despite the story resulting in Glen Owen being hounded, and Dan Hodges revealing it was Rayner herself who made the comments while drinking with Tory MPs, Guido understands Rayner never got involved and as such IPSO has closed the investigation.

Asked for a comment on the above, IPSO told Guido, “Many thanks for your email. We have no comment.” Seven months to draw a line under the incident – and people say Britain has a productivity crisis…

mdi-timer 1 November 2022 @ 17:09 1 Nov 2022 @ 17:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brown Loses IPSO Ruling Over Speccie Article

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…

mdi-timer 25 August 2022 @ 13:40 25 Aug 2022 @ 13:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Failing Passport Office Boss “Working from Home” Complains to IPSO that Press are Outside Her Place of Work

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.

mdi-timer 29 April 2022 @ 09:44 29 Apr 2022 @ 09:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
An Apology to Alastair Campbell…

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…

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…

mdi-timer 11 November 2021 @ 11:21 11 Nov 2021 @ 11:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Muslim Council of Britain Loses Telegraph IPSO Complaint

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…

mdi-timer 5 November 2021 @ 16:02 5 Nov 2021 @ 16:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Matt Hancock Writes to IPSO Demanding Censorship

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:

Dear IPSO,

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.

Yours sincerely


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…

mdi-timer 25 October 2021 @ 22:05 25 Oct 2021 @ 22:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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