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Complainant Name:
Graham Harper

Clauses Noted: 1, 3

Publication: The Sunday Post


Graham Harper complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article regarding an investigation into the actions of councillors during elections for North Tyneside Council. The complainant, one of the public figures mentioned in the coverage, said that there were a number of inaccuracies in the piece relating to his employment with the council. The complainant also considered that the article contained intrusive information about his private life which, he argued, had been gathered by a journalist who had engaged in subterfuge.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification:

On July 25 we published the story "Councillors to be investigated over election funding". We would like to clarify that Graham Harper, North Tyneside Council's former policy and programmes coordinator, has not worked for the council for the last two years and that his salary was not "around £40,000" as we stated. We would also like to make clear that the issue under investigation by Standards for England is not one of election funding, and that Mr Harper himself is not under investigation. He wishes to make it clear that no official comment was issued by North Tyneside Council on the story and Mr Harper wishes to assert that he worked within his agreed job description with the support of managers and does not accept the basis of our story.

Date Published: 21/10/2010

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