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Complainant Name:
Miss Annabel Goldie

Clauses Noted: 4

Publication: Scottish Daily Mirror


Miss Annabel Goldie, Chairman of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party complained that a journalist from the Scottish Mirror harassed her, by approaching her at her church as she was about to attend Easter Sunday worship, in breach of Clause 8 (Harassment) of the Code of Practice.

The complainant said she was approached with a request for an interview concerning her appointment as Scottish Party Chairman when she was within the sanctum of the church behind a rear screen where coats were left and that the exchange could be overheard by other worshipers.

The newspaper said that in following up a major Scottish political story it had repeatedly tried to contact Miss Goldie without success. It had then followed a suggestion that one place to speak to her might be before or after church; the journalist therefore approached her in the cloakroom of the church asking for an interview after the service. When this was refused, the journalist immediately left and did not trouble Miss Goldie again.



The Commission recognised that the encounter had taken place before the service began and behind the rear screen in the church. When Miss Goldie declined the proposed interview after the service, the journalist withdrew straightaway. However, the Commission considered that the journalist could have made her approach outside the church before or after the service. It expected journalists to respect the sanctity of individuals acts of worship and found, in the circumstances, there was no necessity for such an approach within the church.

The complaint was upheld.


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