Andrew Cowles, the civil partner of Stephen Gately, has today issued a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission over the controversial Daily Mail column by Jan Moir about the death of the Boyzone singer.
Cowles complained through his solicitors, Mishcon de Reya, claiming that the article breached the PCC code over accuracy, intrusion into grief or shock and discrimination.
The move by Cowles caused the PCC to suspend an investigation it set in motion in the wake of receiving more than 25,000 complaints about the Moir article. This initial investigation was an unusual move for the PCC, which rarely examines a case from third-party complainants.
The PCC will now consider whether the column, headlined: “A strange, lonely and troubling death” breached the Editors’ Code of Practice.
The Mail caused outrage when it published Moir’s article in the wake of Gately’s death in October. Thousands reacted angrily to her comments that there was “nothing natural” about the singer’s death, which occurred in “sleazy” circumstances.
Moir’s article said “the truth” had yet to emerge “about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death”.
A week after it was published Moir apologised for the timing of her column, however, she also claimed she had been the victim of an orchestrated campaign and refuted the suggestion that her column was “homophobic” and “hateful”.