The Press Complaints Commission had its final meeting, before giving way to IPSO, a week ago. And it ended with a bang, ruling that an article by the Prime Minister had breached the editor’s code of practice, due to an inaccuracy.
David Cameron wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph with the headline “We’re building an immigration system that puts Britain first” in June this year. But he didn’t get away with it. Vigilant reader and director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research Jonathan Portes made a complaint to the PCC, arguing that the PM included an inaccurate claim in his piece:
. . . while most new jobs used to go to foreign workers, in the past year more than three quarters have gone to British workers.
Actually, as the Guardian explains, Cameron had used ONS figures relating to net changes in employment, not “new jobs”:
It was wrong for two reasons. First, the net change in the number of people in employment is not the same as the numbers who move into employment; it is the difference in the flows of people into and out of employment.
Second, the number of people in employment, and the number of jobs in the economy, were not the same thing: an individual may have more than one job, or share a job.
Here’s the correction the Telegraph added to the bottom of the PM’s piece online:
CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that while most new jobs used to go to foreign workers, in the past year more than three quarters have gone to British workers. We would like to make clear that the Office of National Statistics data on which this was based track net changes in employment, not ‘new’ jobs. The data show that British nationals account for more than three quarters of the growth in employment over this period.
This mole wonders what the difference in figures are between our Prime Minister’s net mistakes and new mistakes in the past year…