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Censorship / Restrictions of freedom of the press

(118 Posts)
GagaJo Mon 03-Feb-20 16:21:34

Journalists walked out of a Downing Street briefing on Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans after the prime minister’s director of communications tried to restrict it to selected publications and broadcasters.

An invitation sent out by Number 10 offered a “technical background briefing” on the PM’s plans to negotiate a Canadian-style free trade agreement with the EU by the end of the year.

But when political correspondents from various outlets arrived inside Number 10, they were asked their names and told to stand in two groups on opposite sides of the entrance hall.

Director of communications Lee Cain then invited those on one side to enter and told those on the other to leave.

Asked to explain why Downing Street was denying access to some publications - including The Independent - he replied: “We are welcome to brief whoever we want whenever we want.”

tanith Mon 03-Feb-20 16:29:52

I saw this, good on them for sticking together and walking. Trump tried this in the US I don’t think our press will be so easy to shut out.

Labaik Mon 03-Feb-20 16:45:24

Why are people not terrified by some of the things this government are doing. Mind you, I guess one could say that Johnson is fulfilling his promise to take back control. But did anyone realise he meant it in this way?

Nandalot Mon 03-Feb-20 16:52:17

Scarily like Trump! Good for the other news sources to walk out.
The BBC is strangely quiet about this. Can’t find it on their website headlines even under politics. They are too scared of upsetting Johnson.

Fennel Mon 03-Feb-20 16:55:00

Not just Johnson but 'the man behind the throne' - Cummings.
Personally I think Johnson is just a puppet. With a big mouth.

Chestnut Mon 03-Feb-20 16:55:53

If Piers Morgan gets hold of a Tory politician on GMB tomorrow he will tear them to shreds! ?

suziewoozie Mon 03-Feb-20 17:04:53

I was very pleased to see political journalists across the board showing such solidarity. Apparently what made this particularly egregious is that civil servants were contributing to the briefing and as such it should have been open to all. Still no doubt Johnson’s fan club on here will be acting as his apologists for this behaviour

GagaJo Mon 03-Feb-20 17:19:15

Yes, me too Fennel. He wants power for the social acclaim, NOT to actually do the work.

Yes. As I said when the election results came in. Democracy is dead in this country now. We have an unelected man putting spies in the area around Westminster, to catch out anyone that disagrees with his policies and in addition, preventing the press and the BBC from reporting.


MaizieD Mon 03-Feb-20 17:19:35

Just to make it clear:

All of the correspondents refused to take part in the event on those terms and left Number 10.

Good for them.

Labaik Mon 03-Feb-20 17:24:54

Is that the Piers Morgan that went and hid in America because of his involvement in the phone hacking scandal?

GagaJo Mon 03-Feb-20 17:26:16

Yes, MaizieD. Not often I approve of the British press. But at least they showed solidarity.

Not on the news tonight. I wonder why?

SirChenjin Mon 03-Feb-20 17:30:16

Absolutely shocking behaviour from number 10 and good that the news correspondents took a stand and sent a clear message to Cummings et al that they’re not going to be silenced.

Chestnut Mon 03-Feb-20 17:33:51

Labaik: yes that Piers Morgan. Love him or loathe him, he is very good at roasting politicians when they misbehave.

Callistemon Mon 03-Feb-20 17:39:48

Thank you for the clarification, MaizieD

SirChenjin Mon 03-Feb-20 17:43:16

PM needs to include Cummings in that roasting - he is a dangerous man.

Labaik Mon 03-Feb-20 17:46:53

I don't want to love or loathe journalists/interviewers; I just want them to be honest and truthful.

Curlywhirly Mon 03-Feb-20 17:51:58

Well Boris and the cabinet have refused (or been prevented by Cummings? Who knows!) from appearing on ITV's Good Morning Britain.

Nezumi65 Mon 03-Feb-20 17:54:44

I was pleased the journalists refused to allow it.
And Radio 4 Today programme curly? (Think I read that shock )

Chestnut Mon 03-Feb-20 18:05:31

Yes Curlywirly and Piers Morgan has regularly complained about Boris not appearing on GMB. PM is probably second only to Andrew Neil at roasting politicians when required (on 220c or Gas Mark 8). ?

MaizieD Mon 03-Feb-20 18:05:31

Yes, definitely not allowed on the Today programme.

This is where the scariness starts. Gagging the press has no part in a free and democratic society. Government should be open and above board; except, perhaps, where our security might be at risk.

suziewoozie Mon 03-Feb-20 18:09:29

That’s right Nez What a lovely democratic country we are led by a brave bold man who fearlessly stands up to the press. So proud

suziewoozie Mon 03-Feb-20 18:10:10

X posts Maizie

suziewoozie Mon 03-Feb-20 18:12:16

Notice the diversion? Let’s praise Morgan and ignore what happened today re the press. Mustn’t whatever we do criticise our god Johnson

Chestnut Mon 03-Feb-20 18:15:59

suziewoozie: not a diversion. Didn't I say BJ had avoided appearing on GMB, hardly a compliment. And who has ever said BJ was a god? ?

GracesGranMK3 Mon 03-Feb-20 18:20:57

1933 on after.