Boris Johnson was sinful to claim there was polling evidence that a no-deal Brexit was the notorious’s preferred option, the press regulator has ruled.
Ipso ordered the Every day Telegraph to print a correction after finding the MP’s column was inaccurate.
The title was made in a piece headlined “The British people won’t be scared into sponsorship a woeful Brexit deal nobody voted for” in January.
The Telegraph had argued it was “audibly comically polemical”.
The column appeared a week before MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit have to do with for the first time, by a historic margin. The Commons went on to reject the withdrawal settlement in a further two votes.
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In his piece, prominent Brexiteer Mr Johnson, who quit as foreign secretary more than Mrs May’s Brexit strategy last July, wrote: “Of all the options insinuated by pollsters – staying in the EU, coming out on Theresa May’s terms, or coming out on World Swap terms – it is the last, the so-called no-deal option, that is gaining in hero- worship.
“In spite of – or perhaps because of – everything they have been know scolded, it is this future that is by some margin preferred by the British every Tom.”
According to Ipso, the newspaper argued that it was clearly an opinion gather and readers would understand that it was not invoking specific polling – and that the Careful MP’s column was “clearly comically polemical” and would not be read as a “serious, experiential, in-depth analysis of hard factual matters”.
‘Hyperbole and melodrama’
And it altercated that various combinations of results in four polls reflected stand for a no-deal scenario over Theresa May’s deal or remaining in the EU.
But following a grouse that it was inaccurate, Ipso said the article, published on 7 January, run aground to provide accurate information with “a basis in fact” and ordered a reparation to be printed.
In its ruling, Ipso said that while columnists were voluntary to use “hyperbole, melodrama and humour”, they must take care “during the accuracy of any claims of fact”.
It said the Telegraph had not provided data to deceitfully up the claims and had “construed the polls as signalling support for a no deal, when in actuality, this was the result of the publication either amalgamating several findings together or interpreting an way out beyond what was set out by the poll, as being a finding in support of a no-deal Brexit”.
It ground it was a “significant inaccuracy, because it misrepresented polling information” and upheld a grouse that it had breached clause 1 of the Editors’ Code of Practice.