Newspaper blasted over MP article

By Simon Rocker, August 13, 2009

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against the News of the World from Julian Lewis, the Conservative MP for New Forest East.

Dr Lewis, the Shadow Defence Minister with responsibility for the Navy, protested about a report in the paper in March which claimed that he was “hardly” at his constituency home in Hampshire.

Instead, the article suggested, he received a second-home allowance for a London property which was effectively his main home. The report was published at the height of the MPs’ expenses row.

But the PCC said it was “not impressed” by the newspaper’s claims about the time spent by the MP in his Hampshire home.

“There seemed to be no convincing reason to doubt his assertion that he was there regularly throughout the year,” it stated. “The central claims in the story were therefore misleading, and the newspaper should have offered a prompt and clear correction. It failed to do so until too late.”

Last updated: 10:18am, August 13 2009