Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Admits Withholding Information

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has admitted that it has sought to withhold information from the public for fear of embarrassing MPs. The Daily Telegraph used the legal system to force IPSA to release the information in a move which is expected to undermine trust in the organisation which was set up to open up the expenses system.

IPSA deliberately withheld the information that hundreds of MPs have had credit cards suspended, including members of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet.

Daily Telegraph Admits Boris Johnson Column Contained a Lie

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has found against Boris Johnson and the Daily Telegraph after the former Foreign Secretary claimed that no deal was the public’s preferred Brexit option. The Daily Telegraph has now apologised for the inaccurate claim and published an apology.

The Daily Telegraph had defended Johnson and said:

“The article was clearly an opinion piece, and readers would understand that the statement was not invoking specific polling – no specific dates or polls were referenced.”

The IPSO conclusion said:

“Columnists are free under the Code to campaign, be partisan, and express strong opinions using hyperbole, melodrama and humour. However, there remains an obligation under the Code to take care over the accuracy of any claims of fact. In this case, the article made a factual claim; in considering whether this claim had a basis in fact, the Committee first turned to the content of the five polls. The publication had not provided any data which supported the author’s claim either that a no-deal Brexit was the option preferred “by some margin” over the three options listed, or that these represented “…all of the options suggested by pollsters”. Instead it had construed the polls as signalling support for a no deal, when in fact, this was the result of the publication either amalgamating several findings together, or interpreting an option beyond what was set out by the poll as being a finding in support of a no deal Brexit. This represented a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article in breach of Clause 1 (i). The reference to the polling was not material to the author’s polemical argument. However, it was a significant inaccuracy, because it misrepresented polling information. The publication had not offered to publish any correction and this meant there was also a breach of 1(ii).”

Government Claims Telegraph News Story is Misleading

The Government has rejected claims by the Daily Telegraph that Ofqual had stated that more children taking GCSE exams would receive incorrect marks.

A statement from the Government was issued saying:

“Today’s Daily Telegraph (22 Aug) contains both inaccurate and misleading statements in relation to new GCSEs. The assessment of new GCSEs has been designed to support 9 to 1 grading and we have not ‘warned’ about their use as suggested. The Ofqual report cited is not a commentary on the new grades and the selected excerpts within the story are taken completely out of context”.

The Daily Telegraph had reported:

“The exam watchdog warned that the new GCSE grading system will lead to more children getting the wrong marks, it has emerged.

A technical report published by Ofqual last year told of the “profound effect” that introducing more grade boundaries will have on students being awarded the correct mark”.

Guardian confirms Richard Seymour does not work for them after hate post

The Guardian newspaper has confirmed that Richard Seymour does not work them after he posted a hate comment on Falkland’s veteran Simon Weston. The Guardian has though confirmed that Seymour was a regular author on its web-site with a profile at:

Simon Weston suffered serious injuries whilst on active duty on HMS Sir Galahad when the Argentines attacks it. His injuries included severe burns to his face.

Richard Seymour wrote in a comment:

“If he knew anything he’d still have his face”.

Seymour refused to apologise on his comment which appeared on an article written by Simon Weston in the Daily Telegraph.