The Daily Mail has issued a correction to a front page story it published yesterday (16 June) after falsely claiming a group of migrants who arrived in the UK were from Europe.
The story claimed that a group of migrants who arrived in the UK in the back of a lorry were from Europe, alongside the headline: “As politicians squabble over border controls, yet another lorry load of migrants arriving in the UK declaring ... We’re from Europe – let us in!”
The 54-word correction, which was published at the bottom of page two today (17 June), admitted the newspaper had made a mistake in its reportage, when in fact the migrant group were from the Middle East.
“In common with other newspapers, we published a reputable news agency’s story which said that stowaways intercepted in East London had told police that they were ‘from Europe’,” it said.
“In fact, while they had travelled to the UK in an Italian vehicle from mainland Europe, the migrants told police they were from Iraq and Kuwait.”
Users on social media were quick to point out the false claim in the article, after listening back to footage of the group of migrants being questioned by police. The refugees can clearly be heard responding to a question about where they are from, saying: “Iraq... and Kuwait.”
It is the latest in a string of EU referendum rhetoric called out for scare mongering or misleading coverage. A controversial Twitter campaign by Leave.EU which encouraged people to vote for Brexit to avoid “an Orlando-style atrocity here”, was deleted earlier this week after the political group received backlash from Twitter users who described the poster as “disgraceful, xenophobic scaremongering”, “simply abhorrent” and “shameful and cowardly”.
On Thursday, Nigel Farage’s anti-migration poster was reported to police with a complaint that it incites racial hatred and breaches UK race laws. The poster showed a queue of mostly non-white migrants and refugees with the slogan: “Breaking point: the EU has failed us all.”
The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express were all reported to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) for publishing inaccurate, misleading or distorted stories about the European Union ahead of the referendum.
The complaints were compiled by InFacts, a group campaigning to make “a fact-based case for Britain to remain in the European Union”. The group cites eight articles published in recent months by the three pro-Brexit titles, claiming each one breaches clause 1 (accuracy) of the editors’ code of practice.