Sunday Express admits it made false claim about unaccompanied children seeking asylum

“This was incorrect and misrepresented the data published by the Home Office"

The Sunday Express has admitted that it misrepresented Home Office data in a story in which it made incorrect claims about children seeking asylum in the UK.

The paper issued a correction for its story published on 9th July 2022, headlined “Two thirds of asylum seekers who claimed to be children were found to be over 18”.

Its claim, which it said was based on figures obtained from the Home Office, led to complaints being made to the press regulator IPSO, with the paper now forced to issue an apology.

The paper’s correction stated: “This was incorrect and misrepresented the data published by the Home Office; and the proportion of unaccompanied child asylum seekers arriving in the UK. In fact, this claim referred only to the 2,315 cases where the Home Office suspected the claimant was in fact over 18, of whom 1,501 were found to be over 18. This correction has been published following an upheld ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.”

Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics at Kings College London, tweeted that the Sunday Express admitted that they misrepresented the facts, after IPSO upheld his complaint.

He further tweeted: “The Express, however, while accepting that they’d got it wrong, offered a weasel-worded and pathetic excuse for a correction, which I rejected and ISPO rightly found to be inadequate.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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