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Website anonymises GP in report of public hearing after IPSO complaint

A doctor whose family’s complaint sparked a council licence review has succeeded in having his name removed from a news website’s coverage of the public hearing.

MyLondon agreed to remove the GP’s name from its story about the Southwark Council meeting, which had been called following a complaint by his wife.

The Reach plc-owned website subsequently took the action after the doctor complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about the story it has published about the meeting.

MyLondon had told the doctor it was entitled to report what had been heard at the hearing, but made the amendment nonetheless in order to resolve the complaint.

Southwark Council headquarters

Southwark Council headquarters

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, the doctor considered no respect had been shown to his private, family, or home life, particularly as the story identified the building and the floor he lived on.

The GP, who was also unnamed by IPSO, added no consent had been sought for the publication of his details, and said he had experienced patients asking about the story.

He further disputed a claim made by MyLondon that he “had to cancel appointments” because he was so tired.

In response, MyLondon said it was entitled to report what had been heard at the hearing and was not obliged to seek permission, providing recordings of what had been heard at the hearing.

The recording showed that the doctor had to stop working on weekends due to the noise, but the title accepted that this did not mean that appointments had been cancelled.

MyLondon amended the story accordingly and published a correction in relation to this point.

During IPSO’s investigation, the GP said that he would consider his complaint resolved if his removed his name was removed from the story, an offer to which MyLondon agreed.

IPSO therefore discontinued its investigation and the full resolution statement can be read here.