War on Want has launched a legal complaint and gone to Ipso, the press complaints regulator, to demand a full apology and retraction following a Sunday Telegraph article which suggested the charity was antisemitic.
The organisation, which criticised the Telegraph yesterday, but has now confirmed that it will be taking action to have the article removed from the newspaper's website.
Speaking to Civil Society News, John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, said he has registered a complaint with Ipso.
He said he will do ‘whatever it takes’, up to and including legal action, to get a full retraction from the paper.
“We have contacted Ipso,” said Hilary “And we’re also waiting on the Telegraph to do the right thing. Every day that piece is up there it reinforces a falsehood. We’re going to do whatever we need to do to get a full retraction”.
Hilary labelled the article “not even tabloid, but gutter journalism” and said that “not only journalists, but particularly the editors of national broadsheets, ought to abide by the rudimentary standards of journalism”.
Hilary was speaking after the charity released a full statement in response to the Sunday Telegraph’s story yesterday.
In its statement, the organisation “rejected as ‘absurd’ a report in the Sunday Telegraph to the effect that UK government funding for the charity’s work has been ‘pulled’ for its support for human rights in Palestine”.
The full statement also confirms what a DfiD spokesman told Civil Society News yesterday: that War on Want last applied for government funding in 2012, as part of the Civil Society Challenge Fund.
The last tranche of this funding was received in 2014 and was spent during that financial year, which was why it appears in the organisation’s 2014/15 accounts.
The charity also “rejects” the Telegraph’s “insinuations” that it “hosted speakers accused of anti-Semitism at an event held in London this February… just as it rejects anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of racism”.