Gately partner lodges complaint about Moir article

Stephen Gately’s partner Andrew Cowles has formally lodged a complaint with the press standards watchdog regarding the Daily Mail’s controversial article by Jan Moir.

The Press Complaints Commission has already received around 25,000 complaints, its largest figure yet, from members of the public, following widespread discussion of the article on websites such as Twitter.

The PCC confirmed it has also received a complaint from Mr Cowles, the civil partner of the late Boyzone singer.

The article, published in October, was titled: “A strange, lonely and troubling death”.

Mr Cowles complained through Mishcon de Reya solicitors. His complaints relate to accuracy, intrusion into grief or shock and discrimination.

The commission said it would now investigate the complaint with the newspaper, and publish the outcome in due course.

The PCC proactively contacted representatives of Gately’s family shortly after his death to ensure they were aware of its services.

The watchdog has delayed its findings on the complaints from members of the public following the move by Mr Cowles.

It has said that in line with its usual procedures, a complaint from the affected parties would be given precedence.

The article was published the day before the funeral of the gay Boyzone singer, who died on the Spanish island of Majorca.

In the column, Moir wrote: “Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again. Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one.”

Stephen Fry was among those using his Twitter feed to mobilise opinion about the article.

Moir has defended herself, claiming suggestions of homophobia were “mischievous”.

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