The press standards watchdog has upheld a complaint against the Daily Telegraph after it claimed on its front page that senior Labour figures viewed new leader Jeremy Corbyn as an “anti-Semite”.
Ivan Lewis, the shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) over an article headlined “Labour grandees round on ‘anti-Semite’ Corbyn” published in August during the party’s leadership contest.
The newspaper was found to have misinterpreted remarks made by Mr Lewis in a separate article in which the MP criticised Mr Corbyn’s failure to challenge anti-Semites. Mr Lewis complained to the watchdog that he had never accused Mr Corbyn himself of anti-Semitism, as the Telegraph suggested.
IPSO, which found that the story was “significantly misleading” and breached the Editors’ Code on accuracy, has instructed the paper to publish a correction on page two and make reference to it on its front page.
In its ruling it said: “An express claim that Mr Corbyn was an anti-Semite would have constituted an exceptionally strong attack by the complainant on Mr Corbyn, with potential implications for both men; this was a highly significant claim. In fact, the complainant had not made this criticism in terms, as the article stated.”
Mr Lewis said he was “pleased” by the IPSO finding. The Telegraph had previously offered to publish a clarification on page 2 and beneath the online version of the article.
In the article, it had quoted from a piece by Mr Lewis in which the MP had said Mr Corbyn had “shown poor judgment in expressing support for and failing to speak out against people who have engaged in…anti-Semitic rhetoric. It saddens me to have to say to some on the left of British politics that anti-racism means zero tolerance of anti-Semitism, no ifs, and no buts”.
The Independent is not a signatory to IPSO, which was established by sections of the press industry after the Leveson inquiry into phone-hacking.
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