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

Oh, there are many, many columnists. We love columnists, we love opinionated people. We're quite opinionated at the Science Media Centre. Our beef with these columnists is that sometimes, much like the previous witness said, they are stating things that are blatantly inaccurate and we question whether newspapers can disregard accuracy when it comes to their columnists.

The complaint that came alongside my complaint from UEA, the University of East Anglia, was about Phil Jones, the scientist whose thousands and thousands of emails were stolen, hacked into and put out on the Internet about climate change.

It was a very difficult time for him at the time. Now four independent inquiries -- parliamentary inquiries, university inquiries, independent inquiries -- have ruled in his favour, that he was not guilty of lying about climate change, presenting some big hoax, and yet you still have columnists like Delingpole who, under the masthead of the Daily Telegraph, continue to write, persistently, that he is a liar and a fraud and a hoaxer, and I know that UEA went to the Press Complaints Commission on that particular issue and the response was: "James Delingpole has robust, strong opinions and it was all in the ..."

So I think, again, there is no strong recommendation here. There are different views within the scientific community but there is just a sense, getting back to one of my original points, that -- this thing about: you are entitled to your opinions; you are not entitled to your facts, and that there should still be some requirement for factual accuracy on issues like climate change, vaccines and things which matter so much.

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