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Complainant Name:
Lord Bragg

Clauses Noted: 1, 3, 10

Publication: The Independent on Sunday


Lord Bragg of Wigton complained to the Press Complaints Commission via Lewis Silkin solicitors that the newspaper had conducted an interview with him, and published the resulting article, in a manner that raised breaches of Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 3 (Privacy) and Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Editors' Code of Practice.


The newspaper did not accept having breached the Editors' Code of Practice. Nonetheless, the matter was resolved with the publication of the following clarification and apology:

Melvyn Bragg & The South Bank Show

On 20 May 2012 we published an interview with Melvyn Bragg (‘Melvyn Bragg: Good to be back?') to mark the return of The South Bank Show on Sky Arts. In arranging the interview, Melvyn Bragg indicated that he was happy to talk about his professional work - especially The South Bank Show - but not his private life. This was agreed, although during the interview boundaries were blurred during discussion of his most recent novel, which reflects some personal experiences. The resulting article then included considerable background information about his private life (taken from the public domain). Melvyn Bragg has complained to us in the strongest terms and we regret that this caused concern to him. While it is not the practice of The IoS to agree the terms of published material with a subject in advance, we accept that Melvyn Bragg believed the agreement we had made with him related to the interview as it appeared, as well as the way in which it was conducted. We are sorry that matters were not set out more explicitly by us before the interview and for the upset that has plainly been caused to Melvyn Bragg and his family. The interview has been removed from The IoS website.

Date Published: 21/09/2012

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