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June 27, 2014

Caseby rebuked for attacking Guardian inaccuracies…but still the mistakes continue

By Axegrinder

Former Sun managing editor Richard Caseby, now PR boss for the Deparment of Work and Pensions, was so annoyed by inaccuracies which appeared in The Guardian about his department that he wrote a rather forthright comment piece in Press Gazette.

Regular readers of PG will know that Caseby has long been a thorn in The Guardian's side – previously accusing it of sexing up its phone-hacking coverage and "post modern cowardice", amongst other things.

But as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger put in his letter to Sir Bob Kerslake, what Caseby did when he was working for Rupert Murdoch was one thing – but what he does as a 'neutral' civil servant is quite another.

After being ‘grassed up’ by Rusbridger to the head of the civil service it appears Caseby has been rebuked by his boss for going "beyond what I would expect of a civil servant".

While insiders at The Guardian are no doubt pleased to see Caseby slapped down, they doesn't seem to have been much improvement in their coverage of his department.

From The Guardian’s corrections and clarifications column:

A headline on an article about severe delays in the Department for Work and Pensions' disability claims process (Thousands left in limbo as benefit appeals system grinds to a halt, 18 June, page 34) wrongly suggested that the system had stopped: it hasn't.

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A 17 June Guardian piece by Patrick Wintour has been amended from saying this:

Initial work by the Resolution Foundation shows that by 2018 cuts to the basic allowances will mean UC is £685 a year less generous for a couple with one child, saving the government £1.7bn a year.

To this:

Initial work by the Resolution Foundation shows that by 2018 cuts to the basic and work allowances will mean UC is £685 a year less generous for a lone parent with two children, saving the government £1.7bn a year.

And The Guardian finally got around this week to correcting the errors in Michael White’s response to Caseby’s original attack (which were pointed out by Press Gazette a month ago).

A blogpost (It's time for IDS to have a quiet word with his pit bull Richard Caseby, 19 May, theguardian.com) incorrectly stated that Caseby had been an executive on the Sun and News of the World for 24 years and that he had been the MD of both newspapers. In fact he was appointed as group managing editor of both newspapers in 2011. In addition, we stated: "A previous holder of Caseby's current job – Martin Sixsmith – fell out publicly with his then-boss, Stephen Byers, with the result that they both left in a hurry." Sixsmith and Byers were at the Department for Transport when the incident occurred.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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