DWP communications chief Richard Caseby secures apology from The Guardian

The Guardian has apologised today for a Polly Toynbee comment piece which gave incorrect details about the hiring of former Sun and Times managing editor Richard Caseby by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Richard Caseby: Department for Work and Pensions communications director
Richard Caseby: Department for Work and Pensions communications director

The newspaper's apology "for any misunderstanding" around the 11 April article, which said DWP director of strategic communications Caseby had been hired by Iain Duncan Smith, was first reported by Press Gazette.

Caseby joined the DWP at the start of this year as a replacement for John Shield, now the BBC's director of communications.

Toynbee’s piece said: "Forget Civil Service factual information: Duncan Smith has just hired a Murdoch managing editor from the Sun and the Sunday Times. Perhaps he helps hone Duncan Smith's terminology inexactitudes."

The paper today said in its corrections column: "We are happy to accept that Richard Caseby, the strategic director of communications at the DWP, carries out his duties in a thoroughly honest, diligent and professional manner. He was not hired by Iain Duncan Smith, the secretary of state for work and pensions, but works as a civil servant. We apologise for any misunderstanding. In addition, the writer of the article said that "PIP replaces the disability living allowance" (DLA). To clarify: DLA is still available for children up to the age of 16 (Duncan Smith's treatment of disabled people is monstrous, 11 April, page 35).

Caseby told Press Gazette his job is a non-political role. "The DWP has many dedicated staff – from Jobcentre advisers to regional managers to backroom analysts – all striving to explain benefit changes to claimants and the wider public. Confused media commentary doesn't make it any easier. I will always defend our people when anyone misrepresents their hard work," he said.

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