Trade association ADS called into doubt an article published in The Times on January 26, titled “MoD turns to France as fears grow over fighter jet choice”.
The article cites as its source a detailed note of a speech made by Admiral Soar at an ADS event being held under the Chatham House rule. This note however has misled the journalist, wrongly attributing statements to the Admiral and in certain cases alleging, such as with the main premise of the article, a comment which was not made during the course of the Admiral’s speech at the ADS event.
Rees Ward, CEO at ADS, said: “While it is lamentable that the Chatham House rule of the event where the Admiral spoke was broken, of greater concern is the inaccurate reporting. The Admiral’s comments were wrongly attributed and in certain cases not even raised during the course of his speech or at the event itself as the article alleges.
“Had the journalist sought to contact ADS, we could have verified whether these comments were made, but their lack of contact suggests they have accepted at face value the second hand reporting of what has turned out to be an unreliable source. In doing so they have potentially damaged the reputation of a senior member of our armed forces – certainly they have thrown into question their own personal credibility and ultimately the paper for which they write.”