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Labour drops complaint against six newspapers over Corbyn wreath coverage after email leak ‘unacceptably compromised’ IPSO process

The Labour Party has ended a formal accuracy complaint against six national newspapers after claiming the review process at the UK’s largest press regulator was “unacceptably compromised” by an email leak.

The party lodged a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation in August over coverage of leader Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance at a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia in 2014.

Photos of Corbyn at the ceremony resurfaced in the Daily Mail on 11 August, with the newspaper writing: “A memorial wreath in his hand, Jeremy Corbyn stands feet from the graves of terror leaders linked to the Munich Massacre.”

The Daily Mail said Corbyn was pictured in front of a plaque beside the graves of members of Black September, the terror group that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. The coverage was subsequently followed up in a number of other major newspapers.

Labour maintains that Corbyn had visited the Palestinian National Cemetery in Tunisia to join an annual ceremony honouring the victims of a 1985 illegal Israeli airstrike.

The complaint was made under Clause 1 (accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice against the Times, the Sun, the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and Metro.

However it has now been dropped, with the Daily Mail saying the decision “will be seen as a vindication” for its original story.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “Our view remains that the reporting we complained about seriously misrepresented the nature of what took place, those buried in the cemetery and the mainstream Palestinian leaders conducting the ceremony, and these inaccuracies breached the IPSO code.

“Regrettably, confidential communication with IPSO was leaked and it was unable to trace the source or assure us it would not recur, and we considered that the complaints process was unacceptably compromised.

“We therefore decided we would not be taking this IPSO complaint any further.”

IPSO confirmed that it is no longer investigating any complaints about the relevant articles, but declined to comment on Labour’s claim that the complaints process was compromised.

Labour appeared to be referring to an email published in the Guardian earlier this month which the newspaper revealed the complaint was temporarily shelved after the party missed a deadline.

The Guardian saw an email from a Labour official to IPSO asking for “extenuating circumstances” for the case to continue nonetheless.

Picture: Reuters/Phil Noble

Comments

4 thoughts on “Labour drops complaint against six newspapers over Corbyn wreath coverage after email leak ‘unacceptably compromised’ IPSO process”

  1. Face saving press release by Labour Party. The claim was already dead due to them missing a deadline.

    Labour using this to undermine IPSO.

  2. Whether the articles in question were factually accurate, or not, will never be answered to Labour’s satisfaction, due to Labour’s decision to withdraw the IPSO complaint, purportedly due to its missing the deadline. However, the facts seem to indicate that the graves of those killed in the 1985 Tunis bombing were some 15 yards from where Mr. Corbyn was photographed holding the wreath, which is near the grave sites of the Black September Munich Olympics killers. How Mr. Corbyn explains the dichotomy between his statements and the photographic evidence, has yet to be satisfactorily explained. He clearly appears to be lying!

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