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Complainant Name:
Mr Ian Allen

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail


Mr Ian Allen of London complained to the Press Complaints Commission that two articles reporting on the recent industrial dispute between the London Fire Brigade and the Fire Brigade Union were inaccurate and misleading. In particular, he said that the overwhelming majority fire crew members could not ‘expect to pocket up to £50,000 a year after overtime' and that it was untrue to state that ‘talks had collapsed when the [Union] demanded a £10,000 pay rise'. He also objected to the newspaper's reference to firefighters as ‘firemen', which he felt was discriminatory, and suggested that the employees involved in the dispute were male only.


The newspaper maintained that the talks did collapse as a result of the Union pay demand, and denied that its reference to firefighters as ‘firemen' was misleading or discriminatory. However, the matter was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification in respect of fire crews' annual salary:

Our 28 October article last year ‘Striking firemen want £10,000 pay rise' mentioned that ‘fire crews could already expect to pocket up to £50,000 a year after overtime'. We would like to clarify that this top sum referred to what a senior manager might expect to earn. We are sorry if this was misunderstood.

Date Published: 24/05/2011

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