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Complainant Name:
Mr Gordon Brown

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sun


Mr Gordon Brown complained to the Press Complaints Commission under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice that the newspaper had published allegations against him which were inaccurate. He said that the article incorrectly stated that he had claimed under parliamentary privilege that The Sun had "blagged" his son's medical records; it went on to claim that this led to doubts being raised about his state of mind and the conclusion being reached that "he was not telling the full story". The complainant had never - whether in parliament or anywhere else - claimed that the newspaper had "blagged" his son's medical records. There was no truth to the claims about his state of mind or the veracity of his account.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following apology in the newspaper and on the news homepage of the newspaper's website (where it remained for 24 hours):

IN Trevor Kavanagh's column of 12 November, it was stated that Gordon Brown accused The Sun of blagging his son's medical records. In fact, Mr Brown has never made such an accusation, in Parliament or otherwise. We were wrong to use this erroneous allegation as a basis to make comments about his character and integrity and to suggest that Mr Brown was ‘not telling the full story'. We withdraw these criticisms and apologise to Mr Brown.

The following statement was added to foot of the online article, from which the allegations had been removed:

This article when originally published also made reference to Gordon Brown. Following a complaint to the PCC it was amended and an agreed apology can be seen at the following link.

Date Published: 28/03/2013

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