London, November 2016. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in a judgment dated 19 September 2016 formally upheld the complaint against The Mail on Sunday under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editor’s Code of Practice, which confirmed that the newspaper had given the significantly misleading impression that the complainant, Anthony Bailey, had amended a letter from the then Prime Minister.
This ruling follows a decision by the Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George, Anthony Bailey, to refer the tabloid newspaper to IPSO following their publication of an article entitled “Queen’s envoy ‘Baroness Brazen’ is entangled in honours scandal: Title given to Commonwealth chief’s crony is ‘reviewed’ after she is accused of abusing the system“ written by Ned Donovan and Ian Gallagher and published on 29 May 2016.
The article alleged that during a Constantinian Order banquet held in honour of HE The President of Hungary and hosted by Anthony Bailey, he doctored a letter from the then Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron MP, before it was read out by his official representative, the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Ahead of this formal ruling, The Mail on Sunday removed this serious and unfounded allegation from its article and it now recognises that Anthony Bailey neither amended the letter nor interfered with it in any way. The newspaper published a correction saying “An article on May 29 suggested Anthony Bailey had made an amendment to a letter from the Prime Minister before it was read out at a banquet Mr Bailey was hosting for the President of Hungary. We would like to make clear Mr Bailey made no such amendment and are happy to set the record straight.”
The Delegate, Anthony Bailey said following the ruling: “I welcome the decision by the Independent Press Standards Organisation to uphold my compaint against The Mail on Sunday. The allegations made by the newspaper were utterly false and totally unfounded. I am pleased that this unhelpful and damaging allegation has now been dismissed.”