MPs support their local papers as NUJ goes on strike
Lancs MPs Jack Straw, Nigel Evans and Lindsay Hoyle - © Private
25 June 2014
Lancashire MPs – Labour and Conservative – came out in support of their local papers as the NUJ went on strike over plans to move editorial production to Newport, Wales.
Their message to the management at Newsquest, which publishes the Lancashire Telegraph and Bolton News, plus titles in Blackburn, Bury and Chorley, was that local papers need to be produced locally. The Newsquest management was told it had made a mistake by increasing its cover price of the Lancashire Telegraph.
Former foreign secretary and Blackburn MP Jack Straw, said:
"We hope that the company will rethink its plan to move production to Wales. We understand the financial pressures the print industry faces, but it cannot be right to have remote subbing if you are a local paper. The price increase of 20 pence – a 40 per cent increase – to the Lancashire Telegraph was a major mistake and the management must admit it was a wrong move. I would also like to pay tribute to the staff who all work heroically in these conditions."
Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, said:
"My message to Newsquest is that local papers must be produced locally, I can't see how it can work any other way."
Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, said:
"Lancashire papers need to be produced in Lancashire."
The Newsquest Blackburn chapel voted by more than 80 per cent to take strike action because they believe the transfer of production to a subbing hub in Wales will put editorial quality at risk, lead to redundancies and unacceptable workloads.
Journalists working on Newsquest's London papers are also striking. They are taking the action because they have had only one pay increase in six years, over the closure of the Elmbridge Guardian and the Twickenham office and loss of posts.