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Complainant Name:
Mrs Bridget McConnell

Clauses Noted: 9

Publication: News of the World

Complaint:

Mrs Bridget McConnell, chief executive of Culture & Sport Glasgow, complained that articles about her brother committing allegedly criminal acts disproportionately focused on her, rather than her brother. The News of the World indicated that Mrs McConnell’s relationship to her brother had been referred to in the past. Mrs McConnell argued that it was unreasonable for newspapers to link her with incidents she had nothing to do with and which would potentially have a negative impact on her. She said it was particularly unreasonable to have included photographs of her and to have referred to her in headlines. She maintained that the articles were a breach of Clause 9 (Reporting of crime) of the Code of Practice.

Resolution:

The newspaper argued that it had not breached the Code because the relationship was widely known. However, acknowledging the complainant’s concerns, it agreed that, in any future story about her brother, it would take particular care to consider whether the complainant herself was genuinely relevant and to what extent she could legitimately be the main focus of the piece. The complainant accepted this commitment in resolution of her complaint.

Report: 78



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