The Daily Express has been forced to publish a correction after the press watchdog ruled an opinion piece advocating that Britain should leave the EU distorted migration figures.
Jonathan Portes, a research fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, complained to IPSO that the Daily Express had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Europe’s leaders have no plan to cut immigration”, published on 18 January 2016.
The article said there was “an annual tidal wave of 228,000 non EU migrants who use European passports to gain access to Britain”.
The complainant said it was inaccurate to report that 228,000 EU citizens born outside of the EU gained access to Britain on an annual basis; he said the total number of non EU migrants coming to Britain annually-the vast majority of whom do not have EU passports- was only around 300,000.
The Daily Express accepted it had got the figures wrong, saying they had been taken from a report in another newspaper which had referred to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures which had been misread.
The article was corrected online but the complainant said the correction was unclear.
IPSO ruled against the Daily Express. It said the “error which lead to the statistic being incorrectly reported represented a failure to take care not to publish misleading information in breach of Clause 1” of the Editors Code.
The Daily Express was told to publish a correction in the newspaper.
The ruling marks the second time within six months that Portes has won out against the Daily Express.
In December last year, the paper was forced to admit a story in which it claimed the English language was was dying out in schools was inaccurate, after a complaint from Portes.