Government must stop press paranoia, says NUJ
3 February 2020
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"Political journalists were right to act in solidarity and walk out of a Number 10 briefing on the EU, when colleagues were barred from attending. If reports are true, and reporters from The Mirror, i, Huffington Post, PoliticsHome, Independent and others were denied access by government senior adviser Lee Cain, this is a very alarming incident. Government officials should not be attacking freedom of the press this way. As ministers are now regularly refusing to be accountable for their actions by boycotting certain programmes and journalists, this represents another very dangerous step. Johnson’s government must stop this paranoia and engage with all the press, not just their favourites.”
Another report stated that ministers had been told not to lunch with political journalists and that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s senior adviser, has a “network of spies” to see whether other special advisers are fraternising with the media.