Rantzen is cleared of twisting fact

Esther Rantzen was cleared yesterday of "twisting the facts" in an investigation of a south London hospital's treatment of a seriously disabled patient.

While a BBC inquiry found minor errors in her account of Ian Parker's treatment at the British Home and Hospital for Incurables, her "journalistic integrity was not in doubt".

And the inquiry reprimanded John Ware, a freelance journalist who has produced respected work for Panorama and Rough Justice, for making his criticism of the programme in a Sunday Telegraph article last August.

Mr Ware, who himself has a friend at the hospital for brain-injured patients, said the programme on advocacy had "twisted the facts" and used a hidden camera in the hospital without justification.

The BBC's own complaints unit said of The Rantzen Report: "The programme makers drew reasonable conclusions from the evidence available to them and their journalistic integrity is not in doubt.

"In the light of later evidence made available to the inquiry, it appears that the programme contained some errors. Though these were minor in themselves, they involved a degree of unfairness to the hospital. This didn't invalidate, however, the programme's overall argument on the topic of advocacy."

A BBC spokesman said yesterday: "John Ware has been told both verbally and in writing that he is contractually bound to clear all articles for the press about broadcasting and the BBC. He has been reprimanded for raising the issue as he did."

Viewers' complaints about The Rantzen Report which followed Mr Ware's article will be dealt with in the BBC's quarterly complaints bulletin.

After seeking clarification of the report from senior BBC staff at the BBC, Ms Rantzen said: "I am delighted that they [the BBC] completely refute John Ware's unfounded allegations against me that I `twisted the facts' and `perverted the truth'.

"I am delighted that my journalistic integrity has therefore been completely vindicated."

The programme had thoroughly checked the claims of Mr Parker's mother Janet that he lacked stimulation, she said.

Ms Rantzen has just signed a new two-year contract with BBC TV. The chat show Esther, now broadcast twice a week, will become a five-days- a-week show next year.

She will host Childwatch Plus Ten, a 10th anniversary programme about one of Ms Rantzen's most famous and long-lived campaigns to counter child abuse, on 30 October.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore