The Sun publisher News UK has been revealed as one of the driving forces behind the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), which was founded largely due to the phone hacking scandal that eventually led to fellow Rupert Murdoch title the News of the World being shut down.
Murdoch’s British media arm is called a “prime mover” in the creation of Ipso by The Independent today (22 December), with the regulator’s core aim to show politicians that the industry can govern itself without interference, which many feared would not be the case at the time of Lord Justice Levenson’s investigation into standards.
With all this in mind, News UK remains one of the leading backers of Ipso. Ironic considering News UK’s publication The Sun is repeatedly targeted by the regulator for publishing controversial content. The latest scandal for which The Sun has been forced to apologise for involves a front page spread of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Published on the 15th September, it reported that Corbyn “will kiss the Queen’s hand on bended knee in a humiliating personal climbdown”, and claimed had become a privy counsellor so he can “grab £6.2m” of state cash.
Ipso reported that the paper had made “significantly misleading” claims in its front-page story, and that the inaccuracy of detail was in breach of clause one of its editorial code. Since the misleading information not only appeared on the front page but was also “repeated throughout the article”, Ipso ordered that The Sun must run an apology on the front of the paper.
Ipso has previously made The Sun publish amendments; Rod Liddle was forced to run a correction in his column following comments about the transgender politician Emily Brothers. Ipso also upheld a complaint against the tabloid made by the family of the murderer Levi Bellfield.
Trevor Kavanagh, former political editor of The Sun, was recently appointed to the Ipso board. Hacked Off, a campaign group for ‘free and accountable press’ said the decision shows the press watchdog has “abandoned even the pretence of independence”