Mail on Sunday sanctioned for singling out Pakistani men as main group involved in child sex abuse
The press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Association (IPSO), has determined that the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman’s claims that child-grooming gangs were almost exclusively ‘all British Pakistani’ men, was a false claim. The Mail on Sunday was therefore found to be in breach of the Press standards for reproducing Braverman’s false claims, suggesting that British Pakistani men committed child sexual abuses by virtue of their:
‘cultural attitudes completely incompatible with British values’ which ‘have been left mostly unchallenged both within their communities and by wider society’.
Ordered to apologise and correct false assertions
The Mail on Sunday has been ordered to publish an apology and to correct the article with the acknowledgement that her central assertions were false.
IPSO’s ruling determined that the Home Secretary’s decision to draw a link ‘between an ‘identified ethnic group and a particular form of offending was significantly misleading’, especially given that the Home Office’s own research clearly showed that most offenders were from white backgrounds.
Expectations that the Home Secretary ought to have checked her facts before publishing, provides no defence
Attempts by Mail on Sunday to argue that they were innocent on the basis that they were entitled to rely upon the rigor and accuracy of information produced by the most senior member of the government department – the Home Office, dealing with the issue of grooming gangs, was dismissed by the IPSO panel.
Home Secretary in hot water over Washington comments on toxic and 'misguided dogma of multiculturalism'
The decision comes as the Home Secretary faces a backlash for controversial comments made in her speech this week at an American Think Tank in Washington, at which she made very similar claims singling out specific groups as ‘living parallel lives. She said:
‘uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism, have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades…Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society. If cultural change is too rapid and too big, then what was already there is diluted’
Muslim Council of Britain’s – Media Monitoring Centre was responsible for raising the complaint and bringing it to the attention of IPSO and they have published the correction on their website:
The Media Monitoring Centre has today launched its own report detailing the TV coverage which resulted from the Home Secretary's Mail on Sunday column. It can be downloaded here: https://cfmm.org.uk/resources/publication/cfmm-british-tv-reporting-on-the-grooming-gangs-taskforce-2023/
The report raises the issue of the Home Secretary's continual dog whistling on this and related topics and the profound impact this has on public perceptions and understanding. The forward to the report defines the much wider problem that still need to be addressed and will not be corrected simply by a hidden apology in the back pages of the newspaper:
'British TV reporting on the Grooming Gangs Taskforce highlights significant failings in the way TV news outlets covered the Home Secretary’s false claim that “almost all” those involved in grooming gangs were British Pakistani men *earlier this year.
The false assertion was made in an article for the Mail on Sunday in April 2023. But last weekend it was finally retracted – almost 6 months later – on 24 September following a complaint by CfMM. While the retraction was tucked away in the pages of the newspaper, the Home Secretary’s article received significant national – and almost unchallenged – coverage.
This despite the fact that British Pakistani groups, researchers and more than a dozen organisations, including the NSPCC and Victim Support, wrote to the Home Secretary and Prime Minister to highlight their concern at the Home Secretary’s remarks.'