Government announces new National Security Bill amendments

  • 23 Feb 2023

NUJ calls for public interest defence and further changes to the bill to ensure sufficient protections for journalism.

Government has laid amendments to “strengthen” the National Security Bill, following calls from the NUJ and press freedom organisations over significant threats to media freedom.

The NUJ through its seat on a National Security Bill coalition has  raised concerns, calling on government to introduce journalistic protections, and recognise the damaging effect disproportionate sentences and vague language will have on journalism.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"We welcome government action in tabling amendments to the bill that go some way to recognising the concerns raised by the NUJ and press freedom groups, on the chilling effect on journalists and journalism. However we believe further action is still necessary and that the best way of ensuring journalists can properly carry out their jobs and hold power to account is through a public interest defence.” 

The bill is progressing though parliament and will be at report stage in the House of Lords on 1 and 7 March.

Read the coalition's submission to the National Security Bill committee. 

Read more on new amendments. 

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