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Gately press complaint rejected

A complaint that a newspaper comment piece about Boyzone star Stephen Gately's death was "inaccurate", "intrusive" and "discriminatory" has been rejected by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

Earlier, the Crown Prosecution Service ruled the article did not break the law after investigating two complaints made to the Metropolitan Police.

Gately died of natural causes due to a pulmonary oedema on October 10 last year at his holiday home on the island of Majorca.

His civil partner Andrew Cowles made a complaint to the PCC about two articles written by columnist Jan Moir in the Daily Mail on October 16 and October 23 last year.

The PCC said it could fully understand why Mr Cowles and a record 25,000 other complainants were upset by the article but ruled that Ms Moir's comments had not breached press guidelines.

Mr Cowles said the articles headed "Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death" and "The truth about my views on the tragic death of Stephen Gately" were inaccurate, intrusive at a time of grief, and discriminatory in breach of clauses one, five and 12 of the Editors' Code of Practice.

Ms Moir's claim that Gately had died a "lonely" death in the living room after Mr Cowles went into the bedroom with another man was inaccurate, he said. Mr Cowles said he was asleep on the sofa with Gately when the singer died.

The PCC ruling said Mr Cowles was also concerned that the initial article had made a number of "pejorative references" to Gately's sexuality and appeared the day before the funeral at a time of immense grief.

© Press Association