The Sun has said it is “baffled” by reports of a backlash in Hull against its 2 January story headlined: “Scrapital of Culture”.
The Sun reported “yob mayhem” as Hull marked the start of its year as UK City if Culture with a bumper New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The Hull Daily Mail said in a follow-up report: “The Sun risks an angry backlash in Hull after branding our city ‘Scrapital of Culture’ and claiming there was ‘yob mayhem’ as the 2017 celebrations launched.”
It added: “After last night’s brilliant UK City of Culture opener, which saw more than 25,000 people marvel at the fireworks and light displays, the London-based tabloid opted to write about ‘lashed-up louts’ who apparently sparked New Year ‘carnage’ in the hours leading up to the event.”
Former Hull MP John Prescott drew parallels with The Sun’s coverage of Hillsborough on Twitter saying: “People don’t buy The Sun in Liverpool for its smears. I predict the people of Hull will do the same for this hatchet job.”
But a spokesman for The Sun said: “The Sun ensured our piece was an accurate account of events in Hull on New Year’s Eve, based on the testimony of the city’s top police officer, eye-witness accounts, and live photographs sent by picture agencies and posted on social media.
“We’re baffled by the Hull Daily Mail and others’ campaign against The Sun, particularly when the HDM also reported the violent scenes and police concerns on Jan 1.”
The Hull Daily Mail published its own story about drunken lawlessness in the town with a story on 1 January headlined: “New Year’s Eve in Hull descends into alcohol-fuelled violence, police say“.
The Sun story focused on Hull, noting its special status as City of Culture, but also mentioned New Year’s Eve disruption in Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Bristol, London and Strood.