Press Regulator refuses to investigate wreathgate

I have today received an email from the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in regards to a complaint I made against the Daily Mail. IPSO have stated that they will not investigate the inaccuracies published by the Daily Mail in regards to Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Tunis in 2014.

IPSO, the supposed “independent” regulator of the press have stated that they cannot investigate inaccuracies printed by the Daily Mail regarding the trip Jeremy Corbyn took to Tunis in 2014 because they believe that it would require the attackers and their families to do so.

The Complaint

I submitted a complaint online to IPSO regarding the Daily Mail’s print and online editions reporting into the 2014 trip. I contested that they had breached Clause 1 of the Editors Code. Clause 1 relates the accuracy of information being presented to the reader.

I went on to say that the use of; “Munich terrorists” by the paper is highly misleading. I directed them to several examples proving that the men buried in Tunis are not any of the attackers that took part in the Munich atrocity in 1972. Those terrorists as I wrote last week are buried hundreds of miles away in Libya.

I then went on to add that the men buried in Tunis have been alleged to have been behind the plot but apart from Israel’s claims, this has never been proven. There were 8 attackers in 1972. Five were killed in a failed hostage rescue by the West German police and the other three were later “allegedly” tracked down and killed by Israeli  spy agency Mossad.

IPSO’s response

At the beginning of their response they state that they always consider “an alleged breach where there is a substantial public interest; and complaints from third parties about accuracy.”

While I may be a third party in this, there is certainly a public interest in this case as it has been so prominent in the media.

They go on to say “We considered it would not be possible or appropriate to investigate and publicly rule on who was involved in the 1972 attacks on Israeli athletes in Munich and where they are buried, without the direct involvement of the families of the alleged attackers, and those with first-hand knowledge of the attacks.”

Now I could be wrong here, but nobody has asked them to rule on if certain people were involved or not. They are not the judicial system. They are bound to ensure that the facts are presented and the facts are clear. The “Munich Terrorists” are not buried in the graveyard the Jeremy Corbyn was present at.

IPSO then appear to become concerned about the alleged attackers families staing “an IPSO investigation and public ruling could have a significant effect on the families of these alleged attackers.”

The finish by telling me that the are “concerned” to conduct any investigation  them without the alleged attackers families consent, so cannot investigate

It has frequently been reported the Palestinians have always denied the men in Tunis were involved in the 1972 attack as they did the men themselves when they were alive.

IPSO have a duty to ensure that our press reports accurate information. I even stated in my complaint that the use of “alleged” and a clear explanation of this would be acceptable although not the best.

Will they consider Corbyn’s complaint?

News emerged this week that Jeremy Corbyn had submitted complaints to IPSO in relation to reporting on the Tunis Peace Conference. As he is directly related to this he may fare better. However, I do not see how he can.

If they are telling me that then cannot investigate without the “alleged attackers” families in my case, how can they do it in Jeremy Corbyn’s case without them?

This is one of the most contensious issues they have faced in some time and they have brushed it away with less than 15 lines in an email.

We need better regulation NOW


This is part of the reason that I have applied to join IMPRESS. 

Their board is made up of journalists, experts and specialists with a wide range of experience and skills. They are selected by an Appointment Panel. There is another panel which then advises on the code of conduct.

There is no outside interference from the publishers or press Barons and every complaints made to an IMPRESS member is published online yearly to allow full transparency.

Mr Corbyn used his address to the Edinburgh Television Festival today to outline Labours vision for future of media and journalism in the UK.

He outlined that no longer would government be able to appoint BBC board members or oversee it. He layed out how Independent and Local Journalism would receive more help and that big tech companies may be forced to pay a tax. The money from this tax would go towards the BBC and a new Public Media Group to challenge Amazon Prime and Netflix.

My thoughts

IPSO has used the one response I didn’t see coming.

Being worried about the alleged attackers families. Are they trying to tell me they are so worried that they will upset them they won’t investigate?

They also appear to have given themselves the role of Judge, Jury and Executioner by saying they shouldn’t decide who was responsible. I only asked them to consider that facts were not presented in that article and that the Editors code was broken.

They seem to think that they are a War Crimes Tribunal such is their ego.

This only goes to show that as well as the mainstream UK media being unable to be trusted, neither can the body that is meant to oversee them. This is why Leveson 2 should be immediately implemented.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

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