Redwood 'not human' story no breach of code

By Dominic Ponsford An article about the Tory MP John Redwood
headlined “He’s not human… don’t vote for him” did not breach the Press
Complaints Commission’s code.

Redwood complained to the PCC over the article that appeared in the Daily Mirror on 2 April, 2005.

The MP contested allegations made by his ex-wife in a letter to a local paper.

In
particular he said it was wrong that he had never given time or money
to charity, that he had an affair with Nikki Page starting in 1999 and
that a judge had found against him in divorce proceedings.

He
also denied allegations that he did not care about the birth of his
children, that he bamboozled his ex-wife into accepting a cut-price
divorce and that Mrs Redwood had given up her job to be with him.

The
Mirror argued that the article was a legitimate news story, reporting
that the ex-wife of a leading politician had written open letters
criticising him.

It also said that it had contacted Redwood and published his comments in the story.

Rejecting
Redwood’s complaint, the PCC said: “Given the manner in which the
claims had been presented, and the attempts by the newspaper to put the
matter to the complainant for comment, the commission did not consider
that an apology was necessary.”

● The PCC has rejected an accuracy complaint against Ireland’s Sunday World by a man jailed for manslaughter.

Bartholomew
Fisher denied the claim in a Sunday World article that the prosecution
believed his three-year prison sentence was “unduly lenient” and for
this reason referred it to the Attorney General. He also denied that he
had been “involved” in the murder of Mark Robinson in 2001 as alleged
by the Sunday World.

The commission ruled that the Sunday World had provided sufficient evidence to back up the first point.

On the second point it said: “The commission has no powers of subpoena or cross-examination.

“When
material has been submitted by both parties – as in this case – and
both sides still disagree, the absence of these powers makes it
practically impossible for the commission to make a finding on whether
such serious criminal allegations are inaccurate or not.”

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