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Katie Hopkins wins fight over regional news site’s pub ejection claim

Katie HopkinsKatie Hopkins has won a battle against a regional news website over a claim she had been ejected from a pub because of her conduct.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has upheld a complaint against Cornwall Live after ruling it failed to take care over a published claim that Ms Hopkins was “recently ejected from a pub in Portreath after being ‘very rude’ to staff”.

Cornwall Live reported a pub landlord as saying she had been “extremely rude” to both him and staff members and that after several warnings she had been ejected from the premises.

Ms Hopkins denied having visited the pub in question and IPSO found in her favour after Cornwall Live published the landlord’s unverified account without having put the allegation to her.

The landlord had stated that the complainant had attended with a group of around 15-20 people and that most looked around 18.

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Ms Hopkins said she had not been contacted by Cornwall Live regarding the allegation, and that she required a retraction and an apology.

She had contacted the site directly prior to making her IPSO complaint, at which point it added a clarification noting the landlord’s statement was disputed by her.

Upon receipt of the IPSO complaint, Cornwall Live obtained a further written statement from the landlord and reiterated what he had said before, adding that he believed Ms Hopkins had come in for her daughter’s 18th birthday with around 20 people.

In response, Ms Hopkins said she had never been in the pub named by the newspaper, none of her children were 18 and said she had only been in a different pub with her husband and three children who did not drink.

IPSO found Cornwall Live had presented the landlord’s claim as an established statement of fact even though he acknowledged in his account of the incident that he had not recognised Ms Hopkins at the time of her alleged visit.

The Committee found the claim that Ms Hopkins had been ejected from a pub based on her conduct was significant and had not been put to her prior to publication.

It concluded that relying on the unverified allegation amounted to Cornwall Live not taking sufficient care not to publish misleading information.

The complaint was upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.