Daily Mail backs down over 'appallingly inaccurate' homelessness article
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Featured
Daily Mail backs down over 'appalling inaccurate' homelessness article
The Daily Mail has been forced to back down over an "appallingly inaccurate" article on homelessness which was potentially capable of encouraging racial discrimination.
The July 2012 piece claimed that army veterans were being turned away from homeless shelters that were full of immigrants. Thames Reach, Homeless Link and others reported the article to the Press Complaints Commission.
The Mail has now amended the article to acknowledge that although Somalis and Poles are housed in some shelters, they are not in the majority, as it had originally reported.
The paper also accepted that hostel accommodation is not free and admitted that it had been wrong to report that 25% of homeless people were ex-servicemen, and had based the figure on a report from the 90s. The British Legion has the current figure at 6%.
Jeremy Swain, Thames Reach Chief Executive, said: “This appallingly inaccurate article claimed that a typical homeless hostel resident was a person not born in this country who had been prioritised for a hostel space at the expense of former serviceman. In fact the nationalities named in the article, Somalis and Poles, make up a tiny minority of the hostel population and the figure given for the number of ex-services personnel sleeping rough on the street was grossly inflated.
“This is the kind of irresponsible reporting that can seriously undermine community relations and lead to the victimisation of minority groups in this country. I am delighted that the Mail has acknowledged that the article was fundamentally flawed and unconditionally surrendered on all the points we raised, and I thank all those people who joined with us in expressing revulsion at gutter journalism of this type.”