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Complainant Name:
Professor John Bridle

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Guardian


Professor John Bridle complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published inaccurate assertions about him on its website. He said that the claim he had described himself as "the world's foremost authority on asbestos science" was incorrect - he had never described himself in these terms. He stated that, contrary to the further assertions made in the articles, he had received a professorship from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; he had been a consultant for the International Centre of Asbestos Research at the University of Glamorgan; he had been the director and part owner of SIA asbestos centre in Lisbon; and he had been the Vale of Glamorgan asbestos consultant.


The complaint was resolved when Press Complaints Commission negotiated the publication of the following statement, appended to the online article:

This article was amended on 14 September 2011. The original said John Bridle claimed to be "chief asbestos consultant for an asbestos centre in Lisbon". This sentence has been amended to clarify the writer was referencing claims regarding a ‘European Asbestos Accreditation Centre'. Mr Bridle has asked us to point out that while he was not chief consultant for an accreditation centre, he did co-own a Lisbon-based company called Sociedade de Informacao do Amianto Lda (SIA), described as providing information and advice on asbestos. Professor Bridle has also asked us to clarify that although he wrongly claimed to possess an honorary degree from the Russian Academy of Science, he was awarded an honorary degree from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. He further states that he had no control over content on his Asbestos Watchdog website, including its claim - quoted in our article - that he was "the world's foremost authority on asbestos science". Mr Bridle says he has never described himself in such terms. . We can further clarify that while, as the article states, there has never been an asbestos research institute at the University of Glamorgan, and therefore no relevant consultancy services, the university held a conference in 2003 - at which Mr Bridle gave a speech - to explore the idea of creating such a unit.

Date Published: 21/10/2010

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