PCC upholds complaint against Scottish Mail on Sunday

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against the Scottish Mail on Sunday over accuracy.

The paper had claimed that Alan Bain, the president of the American-Scottish Foundation charity, was at the centre of a criminal investigation after a complaint was made against him by a freelance journalist to the Office of New York’s Attorney General. No formal investigation had been launched, according to Bain.

Bain argued that the freelance journalist who wrote the article for the Scottish MoS did not make it clear that she was the person who had made the complaint to the Attorney General.

The PCC agreed that the article was misleading.

The paper published the adjudication and an apology for failing to respond quickly to the complaint.

“Further to the PCC’s adjudication above, we also accept that Mr Bain and his family have made substantial donations to the ASF and that a company in which Mr Bain has a shareholding – World Wide Business Centres – has also donated office space free of charge to the ASF,” it read.

“We also accept Mr Bain’s assurances that the ASF has not paid for any flights he has taken to Scotland.

“We accept Mr Bain had no interest in the Harris Tweed industry in 1993 when the ASF gave funds to the Highland Fund, which decided to use the money to purchase a prototype loom.

We are happy to set the records straight and apologise to Mr Bain and his family and to ASF for any distress caused.”

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