I blogged in November on how Labour MP Phil Twyford launch a Twitter attack in One News journalist Andrea Vance for pointing out that their numbers don’t add up on a major policy (unless you substitute four months for six months).
Well Labour continued with their vendetta by lodging a formal complaint with the BSA. This is very rare. It is not at all uncommon that MPs don’t like how the media have covered an issue. Personally accusing the journalist on Twitter of being biased is very rare and lodging a formal complaint is very very unusual.
So what did the independent BSA find. They rejected Labour’s complaints on every count. They found the story was accurate, fair and balanced. Some extracts:
We do not consider that the item, or the angle taken, resulted in unfairness to the Labour Party, or that a misleading impression was created by Ms Vance in relation to Mr Jasper’s comments on the costing analysis. As outlined in relation to the accuracy standard, based on the information provided to us we are satisfied that Ms Vance accurately and fairly summarised Labour’s position. As Labour omitted from public disclosure assumptions in costing its policy, Ms Vance sought to draw her own conclusions about this. Her comments represented an opinion open to her and one that she was entitled to present in her role as a political reporter.
That is the key thing – they hid their assumptions. They have no one to blame but themselves – but tried to blame Vance instead.