“The Press Complaints Commission should be disbanded. By failing to uphold its own standards and enforce its own Code of Practice, the PCC has demonstrated that it is unwilling, unable and unfit to regulate newspapers. We need a new press regulator with principles and teeth,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
He was commenting on the PCC’s rejection of 25,000 complaints against the Daily Mail over its “inflammatory, inaccurate and insensitive slurs” against gay pop star Stephen Gately and the gay community.
“Jan Moir’s commentary on the death of Stephen Gately was factually inaccurate on two points. His death was not unnatural or lonely, yet the PCC has rejected a complaint concerning this inaccuracy by Stephen’s civil partner, Andrew Cowles.
“There is no evidence for Ms Moir’s claims about the ‘happy-ever-after myth’ of gay civil partnerships.’ This was just a cheap homophobic jibe at Stephen and the gay community.
“If Jan Moir had made similar comments about a black or Jewish person, and disparaged their race and community. the PCC would have ruled against her. She may well have been arrested and charged with inciting racial hatred. Why is the PCC adopting double standards on homophobia?
“This ruling brings the PCC into disrepute. It’s another nail in the coffin of this discredited, feeble institution. The PCC is past its sell-by date. It should be replaced by an independent statutory body with real power and principles,” said Mr Tatchell.