23 November 2014

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If in doubt, blame your sub

A national newspaper reporter who triggered a war of words in Battle has washed her hands of the whole affair by blaming her sub.

Publicans in the Sussex town contacted the Rye and Battle Observer in protest after Independent reporter Caroline Stacey criticised the local cuisine.

The reporter visited Battle for a re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings and described one un-named hostelry as ‘a pub that could screw up putting scampi in the fryer and render frozen chips soggy’.

The offending article caused further offence by labelling Battle as ‘a town beseiged by dodgy pub grub’.

After calls from furious caterers who felt the article was a slur on their livelihood, the Observer took the initiative and contacted Caroline Stacey.

But she used a rather well-worn excuse and told the paper that the phrase ‘beseiged by dodgy pub grub’ had been put in the headline later – and was therefore the responsibility of the sub-editor.

Caroline also attempted to justify her criticism of the anonymous pub.

She said: “The pub was operating under seige conditions because it was wet and they were full of Normans and Saxons.”

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