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Telegraph report on terrorist deportation “misleading”

by Jack Schickler | 03.05.2016

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has forced The Telegraph to correct an article saying the European Court of Justice stopped Britain kicking out Abu Hamza’s daughter-in-law.

“Terrorist’s criminal daughter-in-law cannot be deported”, thundered the splash in The Telegraph on February 6. A leader on the following day warned the case was “setting a dangerous precedent”, with implications for British sovereignty and security. The story is still making waves among Brexiteers. Michael Gove recently cited it while alleging a power grab by the EU’s top court.

As InFacts already noted, this case has been significantly misreported.

IPSO found the Telegraph’s reporting on the case to be “significantly misleading”. Not only is there no “ruling” from the European court. Rather, it was an opinion by one of the court’s advocates general. What’s more, IPSO said the advocate general made clear “there were exceptional circumstances in which it would be legal to deport” the woman.

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Yesterday, the Telegraph published a short correction on page 2, in line with the remedial action recommended by IPSO. The correction does not state which features of the original article were misleading. While the main online article now also includes a correction, the sub-heading of the online leader still refers to the case as a “ruling”.

Shoaib Khan, the human rights lawyer who brought the complaint, told InFacts: “Although it is heartening that the corrections have been published, the time it takes for such disputes to be resolved is concerning.”

The Telegraph did not respond to a request for comment.

Edited by Hugo Dixon