UK

Chris Grayling Forced To Correct His Daily Mail Human Rights Article

12/11/2014 13:52 GMT | Updated 12/11/2014 14:59 GMT

The Daily Mail has been forced to make a humiliating correction to a piece written for the newspaper by Chris Grayling about the European Court of Human Rights.

The tabloid published the piece from the Justice Secretary last month where he claimed that judges in the European Court were not all "legally qualified" and suggested that rights to freedom from torture were subject to a caveat.

Human rights lawyer Shoaib Mahmood Khan, who is also currently in the process of taking Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), complained that the piece was deeply misleading, but told HuffPost UK that the piece took over a month to correct.

chris grayline

Chris Grayling's Daily Mail piece needed clarifications

The Mail correction read: "Justice Secretary Chris Grayling wrote in a recent article about the European Court of Human Rights that not all of its judges are ‘legally qualified’.

"We are happy to clarify that he meant that although they all hold legal qualifications, they are not all qualified to be senior judges in the UK.

"The article also said that, under the Convention, ‘states should not torture, nor imprison people without trial. It set out the right to free speech and to marry, and to hold religious views – but always with the caveat that the interests of society as a whole had to be respected too.’

"We are happy to make clear that the right not to be tortured is an absolute right, not subject to any caveat."

Khan said that he was appalled at how often human rights issues were reported with glaring mistakes. "The one that comes up a lot is the EU Court of Human Rights, which the European court has nothing to do with the EU. It's a regular occurrence, misleading articles about prisoner life sentencing, about rights to benefits, and about foreign criminals" he told HuffPost UK.

The Mail were also recently forced to correct a August column by Littlejohn, where he said that the supply of heroin and gay porn to prisoners was now a "human right".

"We are happy to clarify that this was not meant to be take seriously and is not the case," the paper said.

Khan said there were several other errors in the article that he was pursuing through Ipso.

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Grayling's office could not be reached for comment. It is the second apology the Justice Secretary has been linked to in less than 24 hours.

He issued an apology to the House of Commons on Monay after informing MPs that telephone calls between prisoners and their constituency Members of Parliament or MPs' offices may have been recorded or in some cases listened to by prison staff.