The Daily Mail has published a series of amendments to articles about a man called Ian Strachan – a Scottish socialite who in 2008 was convicted over his role in a royal blackmail plot.
Strachan complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the articles – published in 2007 and 2008, and which remained available on the newspaper’s website – contained numerous inaccuracies.
Strachan said the newspaper was wrong to refer to him as bisexual and that he was ‘heterosexual and has never had anything other than platonic relationships with men”.
Strachan also said the paper was wrong to have suggested he had a regular cocaine habit and had pretended to be dead to avoid paying a woman – Laura Gosling, the source for the story – money she claimed he owed her.
He also said it was untrue that he claimed his father was a New York judge, had bragged about spending £15,000 on clothes per month, used to cut the labels out of designer clothes to sew them into his own, and was in arrears in respect of rent payments and had ‘barely a penny to his name”.
In a statement the PCC said: ‘The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated a series of amendments to the online articles under complaint.
‘A number of the points raised by the complainant were corrected in this way and, in respect of other points, copy was altered to ensure that readers would not be misled into believing that claims by third parties who had spoken to the newspaper were in any way accepted by the complainant.
‘In particular, the 2008 report was amended to make it quite clear that the complainant adamantly denied the allegation of an affair with a male aide to the royal family.”
The Evening Standard republished one the Daily Mail articles on its website.
Strachan said the article was incorrect to suggest that, again, he was bisexual, had had an affair with a man, was penniless, and regularly took financial advantage of others.
The matter was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the piece from the newspaper’s website.