A Frank Admission

From the toothless tiger, erm, Press Complaints Commission:

Complainant Name:
The Rt Hon Frank Field MP

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Mail on Sunday


The Rt Hon Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, complained that an article was wrong in reporting that he had accused the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, of using Government education policy to boost his own position. The article said that, in an interview with the newspaper’s reporter, the complainant had been critical of Mr Balls and had alleged that the latter disapproved of the city academies programme. The complainant said that the report completely misrepresented his conversation with the Mail on Sunday’s journalist.


The matter was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction, under the heading Frank Field MP, in which it accepted that it had misrepresented the complainant’s position:

On October 19, 2008, we reported that Frank Field MP accused Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, of using the issue of city academies to promote his own position in the Labour Party. We accept that Mr Field made no such accusation during our interview; indeed he was at pains to stress the opposite. He did not criticise Mr Balls for choosing his own team of ministers; nor does he regard him as being anti-academy. We are happy to set the record straight.

As the above resolution from the Press Complaints Commission shows, one should always be careful to check out the bed you like to get into. Frank 'outside the box' Field has become a darling rentaquote for The Mail's agenda, particularly on immigration. I sometimes think he just likes to be different rather than independently-minded.

Frank was of course vocal over the wildcats and the recent bussing in of Polish workers to Cammell Lairds (the shipyard not the football team), but as Claude over at Hagley Road to Ladywood finds, the truth is a strange country to some journalists.