Covid-19 press conferences must continue, says NUJ
24 June 2020
NUJ statement on the government’s decision to end the daily Covid-19 press conferences.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“At a time when the government is easing the lockdown rules, with the messages becoming more nuanced and the practicalities more complicated, it is an extraordinary decision to end the daily press conferences. For the safety of the country, people need to know how the new rule changes will work, and what impact these changes have on infection rates. We need to hear the reaction of the scientists to the difficult decisions politicians are making while attempting to open up the economy when the virus remains a deadly threat. It is also vital that the government remains under scrutiny. We have had the problems with lack of personal protective equipment, the fiasco of the tracking app and the situation in care homes remains grave. Ministers need to be accountable and present to answer important questions at a time when public trust in the government is poor. We will be asking Downing Street to reach a compromise and instead have three set-timed conferences a week, and not at the times and frequency of their choosing. Limiting scrutiny and controlling information during an ongoing health crisis is not a good look, and one unworthy of any democratic government.”