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Complainant Name:
Cllr David Smith

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The News (Portsmouth)


Cllr David Smith complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published an article which contained inaccurate assertions relating to his role as a councillor, his suspension from certain duties and the payment of allowances. The complainant said the coverage failed to make clear that he had not been asked to pay back allowances paid to him during a period of suspension as this was not a requirement of the system and, in any case, he had continued his ward duties on behalf of his constituents regardless of the suspension.


The newspaper explained why it felt there was no breach of the Code and the complainant made clear his position that greater care should have been taken to check the allegations that had been made against him. However, both the newspaper and the complainant were keen to maintain a good relationship and the complaint was resolved when the newspaper: took note of the complainant's concerns; published a follow-up piece reporting that the council had revised its rules on paying councillors an allowance while suspended; and arranged for a face-to-face meeting between the editor and the complainant to discuss the issues raised.

Date Published: 07/07/2011

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