Stephen Gately's record label files complaint about Daily Mail article

Polydor Records writes to Press Complaints Commission about Jan Moir's column on Boyzone member's death

Polydor Records, the label representing Stephen Gately's band Boyzone, has filed an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about Jan Moir's controversial Daily Mail column about his death.

Moir's article, which was published on Friday, the day before Gately's funeral in Dublin, has so far attracted more than 25,000 complaints.

A spokeswoman for Polydor Records confirmed to MediaGuardian.co.uk that the label has submitted a complaint to the PCC, but would give no details as to the specific issues raised. "The PCC is now considering this new complaint," a commission spokesman confirmed.

It is understood the Polydor complaint is similar to those already received by the PCC and centres on issues such as accuracy and intrusion into grief, which relate to clauses one and five in the commission's code of practice.

Many staff at Polydor have worked with the Boyzone band members – Gately, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch – for years.

"All of us at Polydor are shocked to hear the tragic news about Stephen," runs a statement on the homepage of the Polydor website. "Everyone who worked with him loved him. Our thoughts are with Andrew, Stephen's family and Keith, Mikey, Ronan and Shane at this terrible time."

No complaint has been received by the PCC from Gately's family or from the band or individual members. It is thought that options are still being considered but all parties have up to this point wanted to avoid getting involved in the media furore while grieving.

The PCC has not yet made a decision as to whether to investigate the complaints, the most the commission has ever received over a single article.

However, the PCC has already written to the Daily Mail for its response "to the more general complaints from the public before considering whether there are any issues under the code to pursue".

The PCC rarely investigates complaints not made by people directly involved in articles, unless they are complaints about accuracy. The regulator did last year investigate third-party complaints about press coverage of Alfie Patten after the Sun falsely reported that the 13-year-old had fathered a child, although it eventually dropped its inquiries.

In this case the PCC could launch an investigation to see if Moir's article violated parts of its code that deal with intrusion into grief, accuracy, discrimination and homophobia.

Moir, who has won a British Press Award, made a statement defending her column late on Friday, saying it was not her intention to offend, blaming a "heavily orchestrated internet campaign" for the furore and adding that it was "mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones".

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Mark Sweney

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