The Press Complaints Commission has ruled in favour of a weekly newspaper over a story about a town mayor failing to attend a Remembrance Day parade.
Mayor of Horncastle, Councillor David Roark, had complained to the PCC about the article on front page of the Horncastle News on the grounds of breach of privacy.
However the newspaper argued that there was a general public interest in exposing the activities of a public official on a day of national significance.
The commission agreed that there was a strong public interest for readers to be made aware of the actions of public officials where they appear to be in conflict with what is expected on an individual in that role, and ruled there had been no breach of the editors’ code.
It said: “In this instance, the complainant – despite his position as Chairman of the Town Council and Mayor of Horncastle – had declined to represent the town at a Remembrance Day service after previously failing to attend the two-minute silence on Armistice Day.”
It added that it considered that, in the circumstances, the newspaper was entitled to highlight and scrutinise the complainant’s decision.
Horncastle News editor Paul Fisher welcomed the PCC’s verdict.
Said Paul: “The team at the Horncastle News always endeavour to comply with all aspects of the Editor’s Code of Practice and makes every effort to ensure all stories that appear in the newspaper are factually accurate as well as being fair and balanced.”