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Complainant Name:
Peter Stafford

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Liverpool Echo

Complaint:

Peter Stafford, acting in the interests of Merseyside BNP, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had misreported events that had happened on the day of the Fazakerly by-election in Liverpool. The complainant was concerned that the article contained inaccurate claims regarding the behaviour of BNP members and the newspaper had failed to obtain a comment on the matter from the BNP press spokesperson for the area.

Resolution:

The newspaper explained that the article was based on allegations and that it had approached a BNP member for his response (but none was forthcoming). However, the newspaper accepted the complainant's argument that there was a specific spokesperson who would have been available to respond to the accusations had he been contacted. The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated: the annotation of the newspaper's archive to show that the report had been the subject of a complaint; an amendment to the online article to include comment from Steven Greenhalgh; and the publication of the following letter:

I am responding to the article of February 19 headlined "BNP targets home of city's ex-Lord Mayor". The report stated that a group of BNP supporters had been accused of hurling abuse over a loudspeaker outside the home of Cllr Steve Rotherham on the day of the council by-election in Fazakerley. The only thing that went out over a loud speaker was a pre-recorded message of "Vote Peter Stafford on 18th February". Liverpool BNP were carrying out their democratic right of campaigning when somebody phoned the police and made a complaint. At no time was this a "demo". BNP members were questioned by Merseyside Police officers, who decided that no offences had been committed or laws broken.


Steven Greenhalgh
Media liaison officer
Merseyside British National Party

Date Published: 07/04/2010



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