Sunday Politics (London), BBC1, 7 July 2013: Finding by the Editorial Complaints Unit

Complaint

A report about government proposals to allow members of the public to film or record meetings of  local councils featured Hammersmith and Fulham Council, where, the reporter said,  Conservative members of the Council were “quick to point out” that Andy Slaughter MP, who supported greater access, had himself introduced the current restrictions as Leader of the Council in 2003.  This was put to Mr Slaughter in the studio discussion which followed, without warning, with the suggestion that he was guilty of double standards.  Mr Slaughter complained that he had not been in a position to respond in the studio about something which had happened in 2003 but had checked the Council record immediately after the discussion and had demonstrated to the programme-makers, before transmission, that the claim was inaccurate and unfair.  The item, with the allegation of double standards, was nevertheless broadcast.

 

Outcome

The ECU found that Mr Slaughter was correct in saying that he had not been responsible for introducing filming restrictions but had merely codified restrictions which already existed.  The suggestion that he had been responsible for introducing restrictions in 2003, and was guilty of double standards, was inaccurate and unfair.

Upheld

 

Further action

The editorial team discussed the finding and the importance of putting allegations to contributors in sufficient time for them to formulate their response.

 

 

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