Press watchdog rejects Alex Salmond complaint about newspaper

Alex Salmond.
Alex Salmond.
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A complaint by former First Minister Alex Salmond against a national newspaper has been rejected by the independent watchdog which regulates the press.

Mr Salmond took issue with The Herald for their coverage of a segment on his controversial chat show on Kremlin-backed broadcaster Russia Today.

The Glasgow-based paper wrote a story headlined ‘Salmond sparks ‘fake news’ row with new TV show’, something which the former SNP leader said breached the Editor’s Code of Practice regarding accuracy.

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The story related to a segment on the show which highlighted tweets members of the public had sent, with the self-described ‘avalanche’ of comments including tweets from the show’s director and an account which hadn’t tweeted.

Press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) said there had been discrepancies in the comments, and that the paper has a ‘reasonable basis for characterising the response as a ‘fake news’ row’.

They ruled that there was no breach of the Code and therefore would not require a correction.

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A concurrent complaint by Mr Salmond’s producer, former MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, was also rejected by IPSO.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh said a story about her role on the SNP’s NEC inaccurately characterised her as not responding to a request for comment.

IPSO stated: “The comment provided by the complainant did not engage with this criticism; but criticised the newspaper instead. The newspaper’s interpretation of Ms Ahmed-Sheikh’s response to its enquiries was not unreasonable.”