Lobbying claim Lord loses PCC battle versus Herald

Labour MSP Lord Foulkes has had an accuracy complaint against the Glasgow Herald rejected by the Press Compliaints Commission.

The 1 February article reported that Foulkes was facing an investigation by the Holyrood authorities over him undertaking lobbying and consultancy work for the law firm Eversheds LLP. The article noted that such work is outlawed by the Scottish Parliament.

Foulkes complained the article was misleading because it did not mention that a similar complaint was made to the Scottish Parliament Standards Commissioner in 2008 and rejected.

Foulkes said the Herald’s failure to include this information meant that the article was misleading.

Rejecting the complaint the PCC said: ‘The story was about a new complaint, yet to be decided by the Standards Commissioner.

‘It did not seek to give a view about the merits of the complaint, and the piece in any case included a quote from the complainant expressing confidence that it would be dismissed. In these circumstances there was no obligation on the newspaper to publish a fuller explanation about why the complainant thought it would be dismissed.

‘Nonetheless, the commission was pleased that the newspaper published a letter from the complainant in the following edition, setting out the background in more detail.”

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