The Sun's Jeremy Corbyn apology provokes further outrage with 'tiny' front page mention

The newspaper was forced to publish a correction to a 'significantly misleading' story from September

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The Independent Online

The Sun may have been ordered to print its apology to Jeremy Corbyn on its front page but some readers were struggling to find it today.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) found the newspaper had been “significantly misleading” in a September story that wrongly alleged the Labour leader joined the Privy Council to gain millions of pounds for his party.

After months of wrangling over an accuracy complaint, The Sun agreed to put a correction on its cover, but buried it with four lines at the bottom left corner of the page.

The Sun's front page correction appeared in the bottom left corner on 22 December.

The headline, directing readers to page two, read “Ipso complaint on Labour short money upheld”, making no reference to Mr Corbyn or the fact it was the subject of the complaint.

The brief mention sparked ridicule on Twitter, where Corbynites expressed outrage at the tiny space afforded and called for a larger mention. 

John Prescott, the former deputy Labour leader, was among the critics, writing: “Hardly equal prominence & not an apology.”

The full 297-word correction was published on page two as agreed with Ipso, which replaced the British media’s previous regulatory body following the hacking scandal.

Its ruling, first revealed by this newspaper, stipulated that the headline, placement and front size of both the front-page reference and full adjudication had to be agreed in advance, as well as appearing on The Sun’s website.

Rosemary Brocklehurst, who worked in the Labour Party press office in the 1980s, had made the complaint following its front page on 15 November reading: “Court Jezter: leftie who hates the royals WILL kiss Queen’s hand to grab £6.2m.”

Ipso ruled that the story incorrectly claimed Mr Corbyn accepted his invitation to the Privy Council for Short money – the funding allocated to opposition parties for parliamentary duties.

There is no official requirement for the Leader of the Opposition to join the council in order to receive it, with the sum being determined by the number of seats won.

According to the printed adjudication, The Sun said that the article “could have been clearer, but was based on accurate information” that founded its argument that Mr Corbyn could have caused a constitutional crisis and put the funding at risk.

The newspaper offered a short clarification confirming Privy Council membership was not a condition for Short money but Ipso said the proposal, made more than a month after the complaint, was not fast enough.

“The newspaper had not offered a correction promptly and therefore had failed to comply with its obligations under Clause 1 (accuracy),” the ruling said.

“Ipso’s Complaints Committee found that it was significantly misleading to claim that Labour’s access to the £6.2m depended on whether Mr Corbyn was a member of the Privy Council. The two were not formally connected and the article did not make clear how a majority of the funding was in fact allocated.”