NUJ condemns use of party-political pledges on departmental press releases

  • 14 Jul 2023

The union's Ethics council has called for an end to the practice after Conservative party pledges appeared on a recent release.

The National Union of Journalists has called for an end to the use of party-political pledges in press notices issued by government departments. The union’s Ethics council is dismayed at the practice, evident in a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) release this week.  

The department’s notice about the use of retail and logistics firms hiring prison leavers for roles had Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s five priorities as a header. This included the ‘Stop the boats’ slogan often seen on lecterns during his televised broadcasts, but not relevant to MOJ policy.  

Professor Chris Frost, Ethics council chair, said: 

“It’s disappointing to see the Conservative Party using government press releases to push their policy pledges. Press releases that are sent to journalists around the world are not the best place for a governing party to press its manifesto pledges, especially when it is becoming clearer that they are unable to put them into practice. We call on the ministers to remove party pledges from press releases in future.”  

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