‘Significantly inaccurate’; “The publication had no evidence to support that the complainant had been expelled from the Labour Party for making “sickening” comments about Jews”
The Jewish Chronicle has been ordered to publish a correction to vile claims about a former Labour member – the latest in a series of humiliating retractions of claims made by its hack Lee Harpin.
Harpin’s article, which the Chronicle published online with the title “Hampstead and Kilburn Labour chair thanks ex-member who was expelled for ‘sickening’ comments about Jews“, was the subject of another damning ruling by IPSO, which reported that the paper was unable to provide any evidence for its headline claim about the reason for expulsion – and that the expelled ex-member had been excluded from the party because of public support for another party:
The publication provided articles and material written by the complainant that it had alleged formed the unofficial reason he was expelled from the Labour Party, however this was directly contradicted by the official basis provided by the Labour Party. The publication was not able to provide any evidence to support its position that the Labour Party had considered any of the material it wished to rely on when reaching its decision. In addition, the publication had not demonstrated that comments made by the complainant about Jews were raised in Parliament. The Committee did not consider that going on to report that the complainant was expelled for supporting another political group clarified the position or mitigated the significance of these inaccuracies. The publication had no evidence to support that the complainant had been expelled from the Labour Party for making “sickening” comments about Jews which were raised in parliament, and particularly where this featured in the headline of the online article, it had failed to take care not to publish inaccurate information and there was a breach of Clause 1(i). Where the inaccuracy had falsely stated that the complainant had made antisemitic remarks that had been discussed in Parliament, which was a very serious accusation which could have had a detrimental effect on the complainant, this was a significant inaccuracy and a correction was required under Clause 1(ii).
Lee Harpin and the Chronicle have ‘form’. Earlier this year, the paper apologised and paid ‘undisclosed’ compensation to Audrey White, a pensioner and Liverpool Labour member after publishing a ‘litany of lies’ in multiple articles, all written by Harpin. Two months ago, they apologised and paid ‘substantial’ compensation for ‘utterly untrue’ allegations against a Muslim Labour councillor when it claimed she had ‘orchestrated’ a campaign against a Jewish MP, ignored antisemitic comments and tried to interfere with a vote.
Last year, the Chronicle paid £50,000 in damages, plus costs and an apology, to a charity that helps Palestinians after implying it had links to terrorism – though for once, the article was not penned by Harpin – in another attack on Jeremy Corbyn.
Despite this track record, the Labour right continues to leak information to Harpin and the Chronicle to damage left-wingers.
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