Local newspaper owner shocked at Derbyshire MP’s ‘fake’ newspaper scam

The spoof newspaper in question

Chris Bird, a former director of Manchester City, and media advisor, has blasted a High Peak, Derbyshire Conservative MP for breaching intellectual property rules.

Robert Largan MP

Robert Largan MP has distributed a spoof newspaper titled the High Peak Reporter, with the sole purpose of party-political promotion.

Bird, who owns Quest Media Network to which the newspaper title High Peak Reporter belongs, said: “I guess we should be flattered by this stunt, but we are not. Would Mr Largan have tried this with the Daily Mirror or Daily Telegraph? Absolutely not, because that would have cost him and his party a lot of money for the blatant breach and ‘passing off’ guideline.”

The newspaper group which includes the Tameside Reporter, Glossop Chronicle and Oldham Reporter has been publishing for 167 years.

Bird added: “I received a call on Friday night to alert me following numerous calls and emailsto my CEO, Emma Marsh, asking why our paper had agreed such a link with Mr Largan. I want to place on record that we are an independent media group owned by myself. We have no political affiliations and I feel that Mr Largan owes us a public apology and he should now make a donation to a local charity as way of recompense.”

Chris Bird

Matthew Littler from Largan’s campaign office said: “We were unaware that there had previously been a publication in circulation with the name High Peak Reporter or that this title is a current trade name. It was therefore a genuine error on our part, with no intention to deliberately mislead or infringe upon another publication of this title.”

At the time of publication Largan has not responded directly to Quest Media Network’s request for comment.