Three news outlets have removed articles about a 16-year-old bride eloping to Scotland following complaints from the teenager.
The Mirror Online, Birmingham Mail online and The Sun all reported that she had gone to Gretna Green to marry her partner. She complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that this breached her privacy.
The Mail and the Mirror carried “biographical details” about the bride and information on the couple’s marriage, according to the press regulator.
The Sun included a pixelated photograph of the complainant on her wedding day as well as a picture of her in school uniform.
The unnamed woman told IPSO that she believed the articles “represented an intrusion into her privacy, and her time at school”, arguing that she could be identified from some of the information reported.
The bride also complained that the titles had breached accuracy rules by reporting that her husband had “demanded” child support payments from her parents. She said the Department for Work and Pensions had confirmed a claim was sent “due to an administrative error”.
All three publications denied that they had broken the Editors’ Code of Practice guidelines around accuracy, privacy, and reporting on children.
The Mirror said all images it had used of her had been obscured, adding that “a person’s marriage is a matter of public record and is not a private matter”.
It also noted that the woman’s parents “were entitled to speak to the press about their experience and, as parents, had given consent to the publication of information regarding their daughter”.
IPSO’s Complaints Committee opened an investigation after the woman and the three newspapers failed to reach agreement. All three publications removed the articles from their websites “as a gesture of goodwill” – a move that the bride accepted.
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