The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

This was a piece in the Daily Star which claimed that the sale of poppies was banned in areas with large Muslim populations: Leeds, Bradford and elsewhere. We looked into this story -- it seemed incredible to us -- and very quickly found that they had no basis whatsoever. Just because poppies may not be on sale does not mean the poppies are banned. You know, poppies need to be sold by somebody in the first place.

So we challenged the Daily Star to prove that a ban had been in place and they were unable to substantiate their story. It was taken up by the PCC and in the end a one-paragraph clarification was printed.

It's not just that headline. If you look at the headline, "Poppies banned in terror hot spots", and then the subheading is "Muslim snub to forces". It's that headline which is very damaging. It's clearly meant to portray Muslims as being disrespectful of the armed forces, disrespectful of Remembrance Day and the sacrifices that soldiers have made in the past.

The fact that the Star could not find any evidence to substantiate that story and responded with a one-paragraph clarification, I just find it -- it's almost -- you get -- you just get demoralised. You say, "I've gone through the process of trying to get it corrected. We've been to the PCC, and what we're seeing is a little one paragraph response." We have no idea how many people -- who's going to see that and how that can undo the damage done by the original headline.

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