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Press regulator receives more than 200 complaints about Ross Hussey article

UUP West Tyrone MLA Ross Hussey
 
Staff Reporter

THE press regulator has received more than 200 complaints about a Sunday newspaper exposé revealing details of an assembly member's sex life.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) said it had received numerous complaints about the coverage in the Sunday Life.

The newspaper has been accused of breaching privacy and harassment guidelines.

Politicians across the spectrum have rallied in support of Ulster Unionist assembly member Ross Hussey after he apologised for sending naked pictures online.

The West Tyrone representative thanked people for their support, saying he was "surprised at the sincere messages" of goodwill.

It came after newspapers reported how Mr Hussey had sent explicit images of himself through an internet site he used to meet strangers for sexual encounters.

One report argued that as a Policing Board member he was risking his personal security by meeting with unknown individuals through the site.

Mr Hussey said he had "made a terrible error of judgement".

"I accept fully that I have used websites and the internet to meet others and as I am a single man I did not think of the consequences," he said.

"I sincerely regret that my actions have brought me to public attention for all the wrong reasons. I apologise unreservedly to my family, colleagues and friends for any embarrassment I have caused."

IPSO confirmed on Monday night that complaints had been made about the Sunday Life article.

"In the case of this article we have (as of Monday morning) received over 100 complaints. We are still processing complaints, so this isn't the final number," a spokeswoman said.

The complaints, she said, had been made mostly under clauses 2 and 3 of the editors' code. Clause 2 states that "everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications" while clause 3 concerns harassment.

"All complaints received by IPSO will now be assessed," she added.

The Sunday Life could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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