clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Critic Cleared of Press Harassment After Reporting Harassment by London Chef

Press regulator IPSO ruled that William Sitwell’s article detailing Richard Wilkins’ behaviour did not breach guidelines

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Telegraph restaurant critic William Sitwell accuses London chef at 104 Notting Hill of sending him threats The Telegraph [Official Photo]

The Daily Telegraph restaurant critic William Sitwell has been exonerated of breaching press guidelines after chef Richard Wilkins, of 104 Restaurant in Notting Hill, accused him of both misleading writing and harassment.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) ruled in Sitwell’s favour, saying that the “article had accurately reported the details of the contact between the author and complainant,” and “the fact that the article under complaint was the second article the newspaper had published about the complainant and his business did not constitute harassment.”

Wilkins made the complaint after Sitwell accused the chef of leaving threatening voicemails and sending threatening texts, in the wake of Sitwell’s negative review of Wilkins’ restaurant. Sitwell had alleged that Wilkins said:

“I’m going to be waiting for you. I’m going to come and find you [...] Things are going to get really dirty. I mean it, I seriously mean it.”

Wilkins claimed that these statements were not threatening, because things getting “dirty” “referred to any potential legal action he might take and the reference to him coming to find the author was simply so that the author could explain his review.”

IPSO did not agree.

Sitwell stepped down from his Waitrose Food position in October last year after sending an ill-advised communication of his own, in which he suggested that journalist Selene Nelson write an article on “killing vegans.”

Wilkins, meanwhile, had also alleged that the review, and subsequent article, were part of “some bizarre revenge plot” orchestrated by Sitwell and chef Marianne Lumb, who ran what is now 104 as Marianne for five years before closing the restaurant in 2018.

IPSO did not agree.

Marianne

104 Chepstow Road, , England W2 5QS 020 3675 7750 Visit Website

Plot

Unit 70-72 Broadway Market, 29 Tooting High Street, London , SW17 0RL Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world