Hastings Observer pays substantial damages after expenses error

The Johnston Press-owned Hastings Observer has apologised and paid substantial damages to councillor Peter Jones over a story which reported that he had claimed £91,000 in expenses over a the course of a year.

In fact he claimed £5,291 and received other money through being a member of various public bodies, holdthefrontpage reports.

In March, Johnston Press made the long-serving editors of the Hastings Observer group and of the neighbouring Eastbourne Observer redundant. They were replaced by new editor-in-chief Keith Ridley, a former managing director of Johnston’s central counties division.

Last December Johnston axed all the sub editors at Hastings instead subbing the paper via a centralised subbing pool in Horsham 55 miles away.

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