He won a separate, third complaint against the newspaper last month.
The latest ruling concerns a Mirror story published on 25 March about Hancock claiming expenses for his “love nest” after leaving his marital home.
Hancock complained the article was not “balanced or fair” but IPSO’s complaints committee noted articles do not have to be balanced to meet the Editors’ Code of Practice “as long as publications take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”.
Hancock claimed it was inaccurate to call the home he had moved into a “love nest” as his partner did not live there. But IPSO said the phrase is “clearly informal” and people will have “different views on what constitutes a ‘love nest'” as it decided the wording was not “misleading, inaccurate, or distorted”.
Hancock disputed the reported expenses figure of £13,200 a year, saying this would be the amount he would pay if he claimed for an entire year but he had only been at the property for six months.
However regulator IPSO decided it was not inaccurate to report the overall annual cost based on the monthly increase in his expenses as long as the process behind this calculation was made clear to readers.
Hancock also denied that he still owned a home worth £2.2m in London as reported, although IPSO noted he would not explain why this was inaccurate.
The Mirror cited HM Land Registry documents, which Hancock claimed were out of date. But the IPSO complaints committee said it is a “reputable official source for such information and in relying upon its records, there was no failure to take care on the part of the publication”.
“The focus of the article was the additional expenses claim being made by the complainant following his change of circumstances and the article expressly reported that MPs are allowed to claim for the costs of running a second home,” the complaints ruling said.
“In these circumstances, the fact that the complainant had sold his London home by the date of publication of the article was not a significant inaccuracy which required correction.”
The former health secretary also claimed the Mirror breached inaccuracy rules by reporting it “was alleged” that he “rejected” the chief medical officer’s “advice that there should be testing for ‘all going into care homes'” during the Covid-19 pandemic. But IPSO’s complaints committee said this was “clearly presented as an allegation… rather than a claim of fact – and it was not in dispute that such allegations had been levelled against him” even though Hancock’s position was that they had been disproven.
In July IPSO ruled against Hancock after he complained about a series of Daily Mirror articles relating to his role in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among the allegations were that he was a “failed health secretary and cheating husband who broke the lockdown rules he wrote, doubled down on the lies he told, helped enrich his mates via the infamous VIP PPE lane, and couldn’t resist monetising the infamy he acquired as a result of his ineptitude at managing the pandemic”.
In September, however, Hancock secured a victory against the Mirror after it reported he had called off his search for a celebrity agent. IPSO found the newspaper had presented two articles based on an anonymous single source as fact.
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