The UK Metro Online paid a British Parliament member £20,000 after it published a commentary that claimed he was homophobic, a misogynist and anti-abortion, the Guardian reported.
The Parliament member, Gavin Shuker, also received an apology. iMediaEthics wrote to Shuker’s office to see if he threatened legal action but his office pointed only to the apology, calling it was self-explanatory. We’ve also written to the Metro.co.uk.
According to the Guardian, “The payment, disclosed in the latest register of member’s interests, related to a Metro opinion piece published earlier this year entitled ‘We need to stop attaching morals to sex work – it can be fatal’ which defended sex work and criticised Shuker for his stance on the issue.”
Metro.co.uk published an apology on its website July 12 which reads:
“In an article published on 24 May 2018 (‘We need to stop attaching morals to sex work – it can be fatal’) we referred to Gavin Shuker. Mr Shuker is the Labour MP for Luton South and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and Global Sex Trade.
“We included claims in the article that Mr Shuker is homophobic, had defended a charity in pushing ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ people, is a misogynist and an opponent of abortion.
“The article may also have been understood to mean that Mr Shuker had failed to respond to our request for comment before publication, which was not the case.
“We accept that none of these claims against Mr Shuker was true. We offer our sincere and unreserved apologies to Mr Shuker and have agreed to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs.”