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21,000 complaints made to PCC over Jan Moir article; highest number in Commission’s history

The Press Complaints Commission is to consider complaints made about Jan Moir’s column about Stephen Gately’s death in the Daily Mail on Friday.

Over the weekend, the PCC received more than 21,000 complaints about the column by Jan Moir published in the Daily Mail on Friday October 16, the industry’s self-regulation body has reported.

“These complaints follow widespread discussion of the subject on social networking sites – especially Twitter – and represent by far the highest number of complaints ever received about a single article in the history of the Commission,” the statement said.

Third-party complaints recognised, but priority given to ‘affected parties’

“The PCC generally requires the involvement of directly-affected parties  in its investigations, and it has pro-actively been in touch with representatives of Boyzone  – who are in contact with Stephen Gately’s family – since shortly after his death.  Any complaint from the affected parties will naturally be given precedence by the Commission, in line with its normal procedures,” it said, on the issue of whether third-party complaints would be investigated.

“If, for whatever reason, those individuals do not wish to make a complaint, the PCC will in any case write to the Daily Mail for its response to the more general complaints from the public before considering whether there are any issues under the Code to pursue.

“As the PCC will not be in a position to engage in direct correspondence with every complainant, it is issuing this statement to make clear what action it will be taking.  It will make a further public statement when it has considered the matter.”

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