Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear has apologised after his programme named a man who is in prison as the Westminster terror attack perpetrator.
The programme went from apparent certainty at the outset of the broadcast to backtrack whilst on-air as it was contacted about the mistake.
Channel 4 said in a statement: “On tonight’s Channel 4 News, senior home affairs correspondent Simon Israel quoted a source as saying that the name of the Westminster attacker was believed to be Abu Izzadeen, formerly known as Trevor Brooks.
“During the course of the programme, conflicting information came to light. Channel 4 News is currently looking into this.”
Israel (pictured above) tweeted: “The source I trusted, but ultimately I made a mistake. This time I got it wrong. Abu Izzadeen is in prison.”
Halfway through yesterday’s broadcast Israel told viewers: “It may be that we’re not as certain about identity of the attacker as we thought.”
The 8pm showing of the programme on the Channel 4 +1 channel was cut, with a screen message saying: “We are temporarily unable to show the scheduled content on +1 at this moment.”
At time of writing (8am) the man responsible for yesterday’s attack in London had yet to be named by police. Four people died in yesterday’s incident including the attacker himself.
De Pear said in a statement today: “Last night on Channel 4 News we got it wrong. We mistakenly broadcast that the identity of the alleged Westminster attacker was believed to be Abu Izzadeen, also known as Trevor Brooks.
“This was a fast-moving story and while we were on air conflicting information came to light which we then worked to corroborate. During the course of the programme we acted swiftly to correct and clarify the information.
“As the editor of this programme, I take ultimate responsibility and apologise for this error in our reporting which fell below our normal high standards.”