IPSO Throws Out Another Skwawkbox Complaint

Press regulator IPSO has thrown out another complaint from the Corbynista fake news merchants at Skwawkbox. A MailOnline report had revealed the loony site is run by corporate CEO Steven Walker, whose company sells private services to NHS. In 2015 Walker invested £400,000 in mailing equipment which he used to make money from the health service. Skwawkbox simultaneously campaigns against NHS privatisation. No wonder they were upset when that came out…

IPSO has ruled that the MailOnline report that Skwawkbox is run by a man who sells private services to the NHS was fair and accurate. Remember Walker’s notoriously unreliable site falsely claimed there was a D-Notice on the Grenfell Tower death toll and IPSO had already previously ruled it is accurate to call Skwawkbox fake news. Embarrassing… 

IPSO: Skwawkbox is Fake News

Press regulator IPSO has ruled that it is accurate to call mental Corbynista website Skwawkbox a purveyor of fake news. When the Mail and Sun reported on Skwawkbox’s infamous untrue claim that the government had issued a D-Notice over Grenfell, Skwawkbox editor Steve Walker complained to the press regulator insisting it is inaccurate to say his website spread fake news. IPSO has considered his complaint and concluded that Walker and Skwawkbox are indeed fake news merchants:

The complainant’s blog had reported claims made by third parties that a D-notice had been issued in relation to the Grenfell fire disaster. As these claims had proven to be untrue, it was not significantly misleading for the publication to have said that the complainant had “spread” “fake news”… the Committee also noted that the complainant had given significant weight to this claim in his blog. Indeed, the blog had strongly suggested that it was true: it had said “every instinct is screaming that [the claims are true]”. Given that the complainant had endorsed the credibility of the claims and had effectively adopted them, it was not significantly misleading for the publication to have said that the complainant had “reported” that the government had issued a D-notice.

Worth reading the judgement in all its glory. It’s official…

IPSO Throws Out Baroness Scotland’s Complaints

What remained of Baroness Scotland’s credibility lies in tatters after the IPSO press regulator threw out a litany of complaints she made about stories exposing her expenses shame. Last year the Mail titles, as well as Guido and other outlets, published a series of shocking revelations about Scotland’s expenses based on documents leaked by concerned whistleblowers. The Baroness denied everything and filed a vast number of complaints to IPSO about the stories. Today, after a nine month IPSO investigation, Scotland is left humiliated… 

  1. Baroness Scotland claimed she was the victim of a “partisan campaign” by the Daily Mail, that the paper’s articles about her were “distorted“, inaccurate and that the Mail had published knowingly false allegations against her. IPSO rejected all of this and threw out every single one of Scotland’s complaints against the Mail. 
  2. Baroness Scotland claimed reports recruitment rules had been bypassed to hire her friend Lord Patel’s company were untrue. IPSO found the standard recruitment process had been waived – the reports were true. 
  3. Baroness Scotland denied reports her spending figures, published every three months, had not been released on time. IPSO found they were not released on time, the reports were true. 
  4. Baroness Scotland claimed reports she had “brought in” interior designer Nicky Haslam were untrue. IPSO found Haslam had indeed been brought in by Scotland, the reports were true.
  5. Baroness Scotland denied Haslam had “partly overseen” the planned renovations. IPSO found this was an accurate description.
  6. Baroness Scotland denied that her advisers were “left-wing political fixers”. IPSO found they worked closely with the Labour Party and Labour figures and the reports were accurate. 
  7. Baroness Scotland denied reports of plans for a “swanky new dining area” in her Mayfair residence. IPSO found there were plans to relocate a chandelier to the dining room so this report was accurate.
  8. Baroness Scotland denied reports staff had received a “sinister” notification from her office warning their communications were being monitored. IPSO found the reports were accurate.
  9. Baroness Scotland claimed it was misleading to refer to Lord Patel as her “partner in crime”. IPSO found Scotland had herself referred to him using those words.
  10. Baroness Scotland denied she had been “dubbed Baroness Brazen”. IPSO found that a Conservative MP had indeed dubbed her Baroness Brazen.
  11. Baroness Scotland claimed newspaper reports suggested she had paid her sister for advice. IPSO found the reports made clear she hadn’t paid her sister.
  12. Baroness Scotland claimed there was no evidence to suggest the Queen was “embarrassed” by her. IPSO found a well-placed Royal source said the Queen was embarrassed.
  13. Baroness Scotland claimed there was no whistleblower, as there was nothing to blow the whistle on. IPSO found it was accurate to call the concerned source a whistleblower.
  14. Baroness Scotland claimed it was misleading to say Downing Street had refused to give its confidence in her. IPSO found Downing Street would only give confidence in the role of Secretary-General, the reports were accurate. 

IPSO ordered one minor correction, changing a headline in the Mail on Sunday about the sums paid to Lord Patel. This was the only breach found out of all the complaints made by Baroness Scotland against three titles. Her claims of inaccuracies, media lies and a vendetta against her have been exposed as fantasy – after such an unequivocal humiliation it is laughable that she can continue to hold public office… 

Paul Mason Loses Complaint Against The Sun

Paul Mason has been left humiliated after press regulator IPSO dismissed his complaint against The Sun over that famous candid recording at Labour conference. Mason ran to the watchdog after a young freelance reporter overheard him in a Liverpool restaurant loudly discussing his real views on Jeremy Corbyn. Unfortunately for Mason, that young reporter caught him on tape…

“Corbyn doesn’t appeal to the mainstream working class vote. It’s to do with a cultural thing about London. Corbyn goes to England on a bike and cycles round. Working class people go to a leader. He has no cultural references to the way they live.”

On publication Mason exploded on Twitter, ranting about the “scab newspaper” that had ruined his Corbynista street cred. The leather-jacketed lefty lodged a complaint with IPSO, forcing a five month probe. Today, Guido can finally report their findings. IPSO has ruled entirely in favour of the young reporter and entirely against Mason.

IPSO found there was no breach of Clause 10 (preventing journalists from using clandestine devices).

“The images of the complainant were obtained by the use of a mobile phone camera… the photographer had not used a hidden camera, or engaged in subterfuge, to obtain the material.”

IPSO found there was no breach of Clause 2 (right to privacy).

“The complainant, a political commentator, had been discussing politics with a professional contact, and had not spoken about personal or private matters…The publication of the conversation did not represent an intrusion into the complainant’s private life… The complaint was not upheld.”

Guido can now reveal that during IPSO’s investigation:

  • Mason claimed the young reporter involved “specialised” in undercover and covert work. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the restaurant where the recording was made was planted with clandestine devices. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the pictures which accompanied the story were taken by a pinhole camera. Untrue.
  • Mason claimed the young reporter had broken the editor’s code. Untrue.

These claims from Mason were the angry fantasies of an embarrassed, hypocritical old hack who should have known better than to complain. The truth, Guido can reveal, is that Mason’s unguarded bombast was easily picked up on an iPhone held by a young reporter who simply fancied fried chicken for his lunch. That young reporter did not specialise in undercover work, he was a budding political journalist. He did not plant recording devices around the restaurant, Mason was yakking so loudly that his criticisms of Corbyn could easily be heard by the young reporter and recorded on his iPhone. How does Guido know all this? He hired that reporter

Tank-Chasing Shiner Complains He’s Being Harassed

The disgraced lawyer who hounded and harassed innocent British troops is now claiming HE is the victim of harassment. Whining Phil Shiner has contacted the press regulator IPSO to moan that journalists have been trying to ask him questions:

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

IPSO has today been contacted by Phil Shiner. Editors will be aware that Mr Shiner has recently appeared before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Mr Shiner says that there have been journalists outside his home for a number of days. He also says that there have been consistent attempts made to contact him today, which his children have found upsetting. He says that he will not be speaking to the press and has asked IPSO to pass on his request that journalists desist from attempts to contact or photograph him.

In addition Mr Shiner asks that journalists leave the area around his house.

We are happy to pass on Mr Shiner’s requests and note the terms of Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 3 (Harassment) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice

Pales in comparison to the untold ordeal he put British soldiers and their families through…

Pro-EU Spin Shop Humiliated By Press Regulator

dixon

“InFacts”, the fanatical pro-EU website, has been repeatedly slapped down by the press regulator for making spurious complaints about factual newspaper headlines. Five complaints were made by InFacts over articles written by Eurosceptic papers during the referendum. The two claims against the Telegraph and three against the Express were all rejected by IPSO because their articles were accurate. Ironically InFacts, which was founded by FT journalist turned Remain campaign charlatan Hugo Dixon, has a code of ethics claiming their journalists “hold accuracy sacrosanct” and “check their facts systematically and thoroughly”. Something Guido always doubted given it is rumoured to have been funded by that maestro of spin, Roland Rudd. In any event after deliberation the press watchdog clearly doesn’t agree. Step away from the keyboard Hugo, you’re embarrassing yourself…

Byline Manager’s Telegraph IPSO Complaint Rejected

Jukes Nutter

Peter Jukes, the tin foil hatter behind conspiracy site Byline, has had a complaint to the press regulator about the Sunday Telegraph rejected. Jukes claimed Andrew Gilligan’s article exposing the murky truth about Byline was riddled with inaccuracies. His complaint to IPSO insisted it was wrong for the Telegraph to say he was Byline’s “manager”, wrong to say the site was funded by billionaires, wrong to say it had pushed the Westminster paedo ring conspiracy, wrong to say Jukes had been paid by Hacked Off, and wrong to say Byline worked with Hacked Off to promote the Whittingdale hooker story. Humiliatingly, IPSO rejected all of these complaints by Jukes. They ruled:

  • Calling Jukes Byline’s manager was not a breach of the editor’s code
  • It was “not misleading” to say the site had been funded by billionaires
  • “Not misleading” to say Byline had “promoted and defended” the paedo ring conspiracy, it had in fact published several articles supporting the theory
  • “Not inaccurate” to report Jukes had been paid by Hacked Off, he admitted he had received money from them
  • “Not misleading” to say Hacked Off and Byline worked to promote the Whitto story

In other words, IPSO say Jukes’ complaint was itself inaccurate and misleading. Embarrassing.

IPSO: Coke Probably Was Snorted at Momentum Party

Back in December the Sun sent a bearded undercover reporter to a People’s Momentum Christmas party in Brixton, armed with specialist detection wipes and a handful of swabs. The science didn’t lie – traces of gak were found in the loos and the story made its way into the paper. Well, someone from Momentum decided to complain to the press regulator IPSO. The judgement is in, and they’ve ruled a Momentum reveller probably did consult the member for Tooting…

“The committee acknowledged that the test used by the newspaper could not conclusively show that drugs were taken by an attendee at the party that night. However, the manager of the pub had said that the toilets had been cleaned before the party, the only attendees present in the venue that night were attending the Momentum event, and traces of drugs had been detected. This was a reasonable basis to infer that drugs had been used by an attendee. In these circumstances, the committee was satisfied that the newspaper had not failed to take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. There was no breach of Clause 1. The complaint was not upheld.”

Hipster socialists exploiting Colombian peasants…

David Furnish Warns Photographers Outside His Home

Press regulator IPSO has written to editors today with a warning on behalf of David Furnish:

STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL; NOT FOR PUBLICATION

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has today been contacted by representatives of David Furnish.

Mr Furnish says he is concerned by the conduct of photographers outside his home. He has asked IPSO to pass on his request that photographers desist from attempts to follow, pursue or photograph him.

We are happy to pass on his request, and note the terms of Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 3 (Harassment) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

Oh the press still hounded you…”

Indy Buries Front Page Cock-Up Confession

Gotcha!” exclaimed Tuesday’s Indy splash, exclusively revealing that the Sun had been “told” to put an “apology” for a story about Jeremy Corbyn on its front page. The top scoop revealed how “The Sun was ordered to publish a front page correction“. Just one problem: ironically, this holier than thou story on press ethics was itself inaccurate. IPSO did not order the Sun to put an apology or correction on page one. Today’s Indy admits they got it wrong:

The Sun newspaper has asked us to point out that it was not instructed to “apologise” for its front-page story on Jeremy Corbyn by the Press watchdog Ipso, as we claimed on our own front page yesterday. In fact, the Committee of Ipso ‘required that a reference to the adjudication to be published on the front page, directing readers to the full adjudication.

So, did the Indy make a reference to their incorrect front page headline on today’s page one? Alas not, the only mention of it is on page two. See if you can spot it:

Of course, they declined to join IPSO so they are under no obligation to carry a reference on the front. Please, give us more of your lectures on press ethics…

New IPSO Director Fits the Stereotype

Press regulator IPSO’s new Director of External Affairs is Niall Duffy, the latest appointment to join the team working under Sir Alan Moses. You might think impartiality would be part of the job description for an independent press regulator, but his Twitter account suggest otherwise:

Duffy doesn’t appear to be a fan of David Cameron either:

Nor the Tories in general:

In fact, he is pretty open about supporting Labour:

Only a humourless cynic would predict our new press-regulating overlords would be stuffed full of Murdoch-bashing lefties, right?

IPSO: Peter Jukes Claims Breached Accuracy Rules

Press regulator IPSO has slammed claims made by Peter Jukes, Twitter’s self-appointed upholder of press accuracy, finding they breached Clause 1 of the Code of Practice: Accuracy. An extract from his book “Beyond Contempt” published in the Press Gazette alleged that in June 2014, journalist Dennis Rice had “threatened to investigate” Jukes over a donation from Hacked Off. Jukes claimed Rice tweeted: “I’m now going to blog about [Jukes] & his family”. In fact, Rice’s tweet had been sent on 31 January 2014, six months earlier, in response to comments posted by Jukes which had referred to the Rice’s family. As today’s IPSO statement says“The article therefore contained the misleading impression that the complainant had mounted an unprovoked attack on the journalist and his family.”

IPSO’s findings are highly critical:

  • additional steps should have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim
  • the journalist [Jukes] was relying on second-hand information from a highly flexible medium in which misunderstandings can occur
  • the complainant should have been contacted to check the claims, or other steps should have been taken to verify the nature and timing of the tweet
  • The failure to do so breached Clause 1 (i) [The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information]

Press Gazette has now apologised for publishing the Jukes extract. Rice tells MediaGuido in a statement:

“This is a judgement which underlines the importance of journalists checking facts – even ones who are sponsored by Hacked Off. Peter Jukes deserves credit for his crowd funding initiative, but no credit for his inability to check the date of a simple tweet.”

Jukes says:

“the letter from IPSO I have says it specifically doesn’t refer to my journalism by PG editorial process [sic]”

Perhaps it is worth re-reading this tweet of his from last June:

Indeed.

Thornberry Silences Father-in-Law

Emily Thornberry has silenced her eminent father-in-law from speaking out to the press about Ed Miliband and the White Van Dan row. After Edward Nugee was contacted by a diarist from the Daily Mail, Thornberry called the paper back threatening to report them to IPSO and claiming that her husband’s old man was non compos mentis.

For some context ‘Ted’ Nugee remains a practising QC and recently wrote at length to the Times about the legal intricacies concerning sanctions on Russia. But according to a raging Thornberry, the octogenarian was confused because he’s sick and ailing.

When the journalist then phoned Sir Ted to apologise, the QC denied anything of the sort and said he was jolly cross at the suggestion. In fact Nugee Sr. later apologised to the journalist in question for causing them any trouble.

Guido has, to coin a phrase, “never seen anything like it before“.

Not So Pronto IPSO

IPSO’s Sir Alan Moses is in a rush for the three weeks-old new press regulator to get to the bottom of our Brooks Newmark investigation published in the Sunday Mirror. For the record and the avoidance of doubt, Alex Wickham – better known to our readers as WikiGuido – is a fine young journalist with more front page splashes to his name than some of his critics have had in their entire careers. His so-called sting – which was actually evidence gathering – was not an unauthorised operation. There will be no “rogue reporter defence”, it was an agreed plan.

Brooks Newmark was one of the founders of “Women2Win”, a campaign to get more Conservative women into politics. Newmark had a certain reputation among younger Tory women for being, for want of a better word, a bit of a creep. Think what his position gave him access to – ambitious, younger women. As with Lord Rennard that combination has obvious temptations.

MPs have been shown to be corrupt in the past by sting operations; Cash for Questions and Byers for Hire revealed MPs exploiting their positions for financial gain. How do our critics expect us to prove an MP is exploiting his position for carnal gain?

This was no fishing operation, it was a narrowly targeted effort. The Sophie Wittams Twitter account followed almost 100 MPs as part of the cover story – not to target them – which is obvious given that many of them were women MPs and the list included the Prime Minister. There was no intention to trap the PM.

If IPSO finds against the Daily Mirror it won’t prove it has teeth, it will prove as we told the Leveson Inquiry, that “media standards” are really a form of censorship that will protect the powerful from having their wrongdoings uncovered. This blog will never bow to the censors – we will continue to use subterfuge and clandestine methods to go after wrong ‘uns – there is no other way.



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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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