Fake News: Left-Wing Press Accusations Against Brexit Campaigners Retracted Over and Over

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The Guardian‘s recent retraction of its claim that Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks poured an extra £12 million into the EU referendum is just the latest example of bogus reporting on Brexit by the paper and sister publication The Observer.

Breitbart London was able to report on May 16th that The Guardian had been forced to retract a claim that Banks had spent £12 million “in addition to the £9m he [had] already been reported to have provided to the Brexit campaign” after lawyers for Banks informed the paper it was reporting fake news.

But this was not the first time The Guardian/Observer had levelled potentially damaging accusations at Brexit campaigners which proved somewhat less than accurate, before having to issue corrections — corrections placed much less prominently than the original reports.

Guardian Forced to Retract Claim Arron Banks Spent Extra £12 Million on Referendum

As stated, the Guardian ran a whole story hinging on the supposed fact that a company controlled by Arron Banks had put an additional £12 million into the referendum campaign, on top £9 million which had been previously mentioned.

In fact, the £12 million included the £9 million figure, and had been mentioned before — meaning the story was neither fresh nor factually accurate.

It remained up uncorrected for some days before lawyers forced the paper to issue a correction, tacked on to the bottom of the article’s minimally amended text.

Carole Cadwalladr Claims ICO Has Launched Legal Proceedings Against Arron Banks and Leave.EU

Guardian/Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr — a figure who looms large in Brexit conspiracies, particularly those hinging upon Russian collusion — claimed that the Information Commissioner’s Office had launched legal proceedings against Arron Banks and the Leave.EU campaign on April 15th, triggering a firestorm of accusations on social media.

However, days later she admitted to deleting the tweet because the regulator had, in fact, merely issued some “information notices”. It is not clear how many of the people influenced by the original claim ever saw the retraction.

Cambridge Analytica Did Not Work with Leave.EU

Many of Cadwalladr’s claims concerning collusion and coordination between various key Brexit players hinged on the idea that data firm Cambridge Analytica sat in the middle of a vast spider web connecting them.

“One year and one month after our story kicked off an Electoral Commission investigation into the work that Cambridge Analytica did for Leave.EU , a senior director confirms….it’s all TRUE” she crowed on March 23rd.

Less than two months later, however, the Electoral Commission indicated that claims of substantial cooperation between Cambridge Analytica and Leave.EU were not true, and that the Brexit campaign “received [no] donations or paid-for services from Cambridge Analytica”.

Moreover, the EC added that collaboration between the two groups “did not develop beyond initial scoping work”.

Aggregate IQ Not a Canadian Subsidiary of Cambridge Analytica

Another contentious claim concerning Cambridge Analytica was that it co-operated with a Canadian services provider Aggregate IQ and the Vote Leave group, in articles titled “Revealed: the ties that bound Canadian data firm to Leave campaign in referendum” and “Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team ‘may have broken law'”.

The central claims of both these articles had to be “clarified”:

In two news articles last week (Revealed: the ties that bound Canadian data firm to Leave campaign in referendum and Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team ‘may have broken law’), we are happy to clarify that we did not intend to suggest that AggregateIQ is a direct part and/or the Canadian branch of Cambridge Analytica, or that it has been involved in the exploitation of Facebook data, or otherwise been involved in any of the alleged wrongdoing made against Cambridge Analytica. Further, we did not intend to suggest that AIQ secretly and unethically co-ordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU referendum. We are happy to make clear that AggregateIQ is and has always been 100% Canadian owned and operated.

The corrections were published in a side column on page 50 of The Observer.

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