Leeds General: editor who broke story tells James O'Brien how he discovered the truth

10 December 2019, 14:29 | Updated: 10 December 2019, 14:52

Yorkshire Post editor tells James O'Brien how he discovered the truth about 4 year old Jack Williment-Barr lying on the floor at Leeds General and the dangers of internet sources.

Editor James Mitchinson received a letter from a reader Margaret pointing to a Facebook post by someone called Cherie which entirely rejected the reports that Jack was being treated on a pile of coats, saying the photograph was fake.

Cherie had said that she has a "good friend" who works at the hospital who said "it simply isn't true."

James said: "She's taken an unknown Facebook account ahead of you."

Mr Mitchinson said whatever compels those to peddle untruths, such as that Matt Hancock's aide had been punched, is not as frightening as "the impact it has on the Margarets of this world."

"I think the Margarets of this world shouldn't be expected to spot bot accounts in the same way you and I might be able to. British society, our democracy, is in peril at the moment and I put a Tweet out this morning saying 'Trust is in a tangle with evil and evil is winning'," he said.

James Mitchinson then went through how he confirmed the truth.

James O'Brien lamented the state of things where people, who cannot know the truth of a situation, "can set themselves up as rivals" to those that actually know.