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Paper apologises to MP over Murray knighthood story

A regional daily has apologised to a Tory MP after wrongly reporting that he had called for Andy Murray to get a knighthood.

The Southend Echo reported that the town’s MP David Amess had called for the honour, shortly after Murray became the first Briton to win the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon since 1936.

However although Mr Amess had sponsored a Commons early day motion congratulating the player on his triumph, it had not called for him to be knighted.

Mr Amess complained to the Press Complaints Commission, claiming he had subjected to online abuse in comments posted about the story.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of a correction on the website and in the newspaper.

It read:  “On July 22, the Echo reported Southend West MP David Amess was behind a House of Commons motion calling for Andy Murray to be knighted after winning the men’s final at Wimbledon.

“It is true that Mr Amess sponsored an early day motion praising Andy Murray, supported by 24 fellow MPs. However, he did not call for Andy Murray to be knighted.

“The Echo also published the story online and later published a reader’s letter based on the news story. We wish to apologise for the error, allowing the resulting letter to be published and for comments posted on the online story.”

Other recent PCC cases involving regional newspapers include:

Anderson v The Sunday Post

Miss Tracey Anderson of Tootsies Fish Spa complained under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice about an article which discussed the potential implications of a court case involving a beautician who illegally performed a teeth whitening service.

The complainant, who was unconnected to the case, expressed concern that the article had inaccurately suggested that in providing treatments to under-18s her salon was cting contrary to UK and European Law.

The matter was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following apology:

“In a story headed ‘Darker days for teeth whitening’ in the Sunday Post on June 23, it was stated that under EU laws teeth whitening is only for adults aged over 18.

“One of the individuals featured in the article, Tracey Anderson, of Footsies Fish Spa, Gateshead, has pointed out that it is permissible to use non-peroxide bleaching agents on under 18s with an adult’s consent and that her business operates strictly within the law.

“We apologise to Ms Anderson for any misleading impression that our article may have given.”

A woman v Wales Online

A woman complained that the newspaper had published a private image of her daughter without her consent.

Although the newspaper denied that there was a breach of the Code, the complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the image from the newspaper’s website and database as a gesture of good will.