Corriere della Sera ignores its blatant Brexit blunder

Beppe Severgnini and Lilli Gruber on La 7

ROME - Lilli Gruber, renowned Italian journalist and host of Italian daily political TV talk show Otto e mezzo, answered readers’ emails in a segment entitled ‘Brexit and Theresa May’s empty promises’ in Corriere della Sera’s weekly magazine il 7, on 10th August last.

In response to reader Gabriele Salini's comments on the weakness of the pound and Britain’s GDP since the referendum, Gruber wrote: ‘Politicians often lie and cheat in order to convince a gullible public to trust them. This is what Theresa May did to win the referendum. She said for example that Great Britain would be more ‘strong and stable’ after its exit from the EU. This was in 2016 and 52% of British citizens believed her.’

Surprisingly, Ms Gruber got her facts wrong. Despite Ms May’s current ‘strong and stable’ mantra, she was originally a Remainer before the referendum, campaigning against Brexit, not for itDavid Cameron called the referendum in June 2016. 52% per cent of the British public were convinced by the Brexit campaign, but not by Theresa May. When Cameron stepped down, she took his place.

The publication of Gruber’s comments in il 7 comes as a surprise given that the magazine’s editor is none other than Beppe Severgnini, OBE, a renowned Anglologist and expert on all things English. One could be forgiven for thinking that both journalists would have known better.

An assiduous and long-standing Corriere reader, Torquil Erikson, was quick to point out the publication’s error in a complaint email to both journalists. He waited one week for the next edition of il 7 to appear in the stands, but there is no trace of his message in either Gruber's nor Severgnini's letters pages, neither in the print nor in the online edition. 

Speaking to the Italian Insider, Erikson said: ‘How come he [Severgnini] let pass a gratuitous printed insult published in his magazine against the British Prime Minister? And, what's more, based on a completely false item of information?’

Neither Mr Severgnini nor Ms Gruber have yet responded.