News Shopper has been vindicated after a complaint about our coverage of a candidate from minor political party For Britain standing for election in Lewisham.

Ian Baxter, from Swindon, who calls himself an “anti Islam practices campaigner and supporter of For Britain”, went to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over three articles published in June:

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He objected to us referring to For Britain as “minor” and to us not mentioning more people who were in favour of anti-Islam candidate Anne Marie Waters speaking at a hustings ahead of the Lewisham East by-election.

Apparently we were in breach of the Editors’ Code over the clauses related to accuracy and, even more bizarrely, harassment.

This is what Ipso has said in response:

“We have read your complaint carefully, and have decided that it does not raise a possible breach of the Editors’ Code.

“You said that these articles were inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) because they described Anne Marie Waters as representing ‘controversial minor political party For Britain’. You said that the use of the term ‘minor’ was subjective and misleading. Publications are entitled to make characterisations about people and groups, and where For Britain is not a party with an established presence in Parliament or any local authority, this was not misleading. There was no possible breach of Clause 1 on this point.

“You also said that the articles breached Clause 3 (Harassment) because they referred to individuals who had supported the campaign to no-platform Ms Waters, but not to individuals who supported her presence at the hustings. This concern appeared to be best addressed under Clause 1 (Accuracy): you were not suggesting that the publications have harassed Ms Waters in the course of producing the articles. Publications have the right to choose which pieces of information they publish, as long as this does not lead to a breach of the Code. In this case, the fact that the article did not mention the opinions of certain individuals in support of Ms Waters did not make the article inaccurate or misleading, so there was no possible breach of Clause 1.”