206/2019 Mr Tom Watson and The SKWAWKBOX
Publication: The SKWAWKBOX
Date of complaint: 12 March 2019
Date complaint accepted: 03 April 2019
Date of adjudication: 03 May 2019
Relevant clauses: Harassment 5.1 and Privacy 7.1 of the IMPRESS Standards Code
Outcome: Complaint dismissed. No breach.
Summary of complaint
1.1 The Complainant is Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, an individual directly affected by the alleged breach of the Code.
1.2 The Respondent is The SKWAWKBOX, a news website covering current affairs that has been regulated by IMPRESS since 1 October 2017.
1.3 The complaint concerns an article that first appeared in The SKWAWKBOX on 11 March 2019 with the headline “Watson’s party within party form should NOT be used to let him know what you think”.
1.4 The complaint is assessed against the IMPRESS Standards Code.
The relevant clauses are:
Clause 5 (Harassment)
5.1 Publishers must ensure that journalists do not engage in intimidation.
Clause 7 (Privacy)
7.1 Except where justified by the public interest, publishers must respect people’s reasonable expectation of privacy. Such an expectation may be determined by factors that include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) The nature of the information concerned, such as whether it relates to intimate, family, health or medical matters or personal finances;
b) The nature of the place concerned, such as a home, school or hospital;
c) How the information concerned was held or communicated, such as in private correspondence or a personal diary;
d) The relevant attributes of the person, such as their age, occupation or public profile; and
e) Whether the person had voluntarily courted publicity on a relevant aspect of their private life.