Mail Online breached accuracy clause with headline claiming there are “British towns that are no-go areas for white people”, IPSO rules


The misleading headline on ‘no-go zones’ also led to complaints being made to IPSO.

Mail Online has been found to have breached the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code after publishing a headline claiming there are “British towns that are no-go areas for white people”, IPSO has ruled.

The press regulator said that the Mail Online headline which was published on 4 June 2021, claiming that there were “British towns that are no-go areas for white people” was inaccurate and not supported by the article.

The story caused a widespread backlash at the time for claiming that there were British towns and cities that could not be visited by white people. Among the examples used was Didsbury.

The 2011 census showed that Didsbury West was 84.1% white and Didsbury East was 77.9% white. A month earlier, Mail Online had published a story describing the area as “posh and leafy” with “plenty of pubs”.

The inflammatory and misleading story on ‘no-go zones’ also led to complaints being made to IPSO. In its ruling IPSO stated: “The article included no reference to a town or towns which were claimed to be off-limits to white people, and only one area within a city was described as a “no-go area” for white people.

“The publication had sought to support its headline by pointing to extracts from the book on which the article was based, which it considered demonstrated that segregation between white and non-white or Muslim people occurred in multiple towns. However, these extracts had not been included in the article and in any case did not amount to claims that the towns were “no-go areas”.

“As such, the headline was inaccurate and was not supported by the text of the article, and therefore amounted to a breach of Clause 1.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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