Newspaper apologises over 'mendacious' headline that appeared to misquote English Heritage chief

The headline gave the impression that Kate Mavor had made negative comments about the National Trust when she had done nothing but praise the charity

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper has apologised over an interview which appeared to misquote the chief executive of English Heritage as criticising the National Trust.

The apology, which appeared in the newspaper yesterday, acknowledged that the headline of the article, which appeared in quotation marks, gave the impression of being a direct quote from an interview with Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, when she had not made those comments and in fact had praised the National Trust.

Both English Heritage and the National Trust submitted editorial complaints to the newspaper over the headline, which appeared on an interview with Mavor on 19 February.

The online version of the article was originally headlined with the statement: “When it comes to cancel culture, we’re safer than the National Trust – authenticity is key”.

The print version of the story used the headline “Cancel culture? At least we're not the National Trust”.

Neither quote appeared in the body of the article, in which Mavor described herself as being “full of love” for the National Trust – but the writer of the piece frequently criticised the charity.

In the correction, The Sunday Telegraph said the headline “gave the impression it was a direct quote from Kate Mavor”.

It went on to say: “Ms Mavor did not say this nor was it an accurate summary of her views; in fact she praised the work of the National Trust.

“We apologise and are happy to correct the record.”

On her personal Twitter account, Celia Richardson, director of communications and insight at the National Trust, tweeted that the original headline had been “mendacious” and was designed “politicise and provoke”.

The correction, she said, was a “small, important thing for UK charities”.

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