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TUC backs motion on LGBT third party complaints

Adam Christie at the TUC LGBT conference  -  © Rod Leon

26 June 2015

The TUC has backed a motion to support third-party complaints on behalf of LGBT groups and others unfairly represented by the press.

There was unanimous backing for the motion which asked conference to confirm its support for "efforts by NUJ members and workplace chapels to try to challenge (transphobic, bi-phobic and) homophobic reporting across the news media and acknowledges that unionised workplaces provide more robust resistance towards editorial and proprietary prejudice".

In May, the NUJ condemned the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (IPSO) decision to reject complaints about a column in the Sun newspaper, by Katie Hopkins, comparing migrants to cockroaches.

IPSO’s rejection was based on the commentary not referring to specific individuals and was therefore outside of IPSO’s powers and remit. The Guardian reported only two complaints out of more than 400 were referred to the Sun by IPSO but under clauses of the editors’ code dealing with accuracy not discrimination. In a reply to a complaint made to IPSO, the regulator said a large number of the complaints: "do not raise a possible breach of the code".

In March 2013, the NUJ highlighted a range of failures linked to the previous regulator, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), and at the time Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"The failure by the PCC to take up third party complaints has meant that some of the most vulnerable, such as asylum seekers, have been subject to unchecked vilification by parts of the press."

Chris Grayling supports Newsquest strike
Chris Grayling, Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell and Leader of
the House of Commons, shows his support for striking Newsquest
journalists © Private

Adam Christie, joint NUJ president, who proposed the motion, also asked support from delegates to the TUC LGBT conference for the striking journalists working for Newsquest titles in London and the south east. He said:

"Newsquest journalists are taking action over pay and because they believe further cuts will limit their ability to cover courts, council meetings, health authorities and community events."


Tags: , tuc, lgbt, conference, press regulation, ipso, third-party complaints, newsquest, chris graying, south london, media reform