August 19, 2022

IPSO said many of the complaints found the content ‘offensive or tasteless’

Press watchdog, IPSO, has rejected all complaints about an article claiming Angela Rayner crossed and uncrossed her legs in a ‘Basic Instinct’ ploy in the Commons in a bid to distract Boris Johnson.

The Mail on Sunday caused widespread outrage with an article headlined, ‘Stone the crows! Tories accuse Rayner of Basic Instinct ploy to distract Boris’, which led to the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, summoning the paper’s editor to a meeting, something he declined.

The article quoted anonymous Tory MPs and was branded “sexist and misogynistic”.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) on Wednesday revealed that it has received more than 6,000 complaints about the story, but concluded: “We recognised that many complainants found the content of the article to be offensive or tasteless. However, this did not in itself mean that the article was in breach of the Code by reporting them.”

The watchdog assessed each individual complaint against the Editors’ Code of Practice and determined they came under three categories — accuracy, privacy and harassment, and discrimination.

IPSO said under its regulations it could not take forward complaints about issues other than accuracy from people with no connection to an alleged breach of the Code.

Read the full IPSO decision here.

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