LABOUR, Tories and the SNP were named as enemies of press freedom in a respected international censorship report last night.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party and the Scottish Nationalists were named alongside the Front National in France and Podemos in Spain for being involved in activities that included blackballing journalists from events and trying to secretly influence editors.
The section on “political interference” said methods they use “can take many forms sometimes subtle (behind-the-scenes phone calls to an editor), sometimes overt (preventing a journalist affiliated with particular outlets from attending a press conference) – but the goal of controlling information flow remains the same”.
The Tories were torn into for shutting three journalists for Cornwall Live in a room and given limited questions to ask Prime Minister Theresa May during an election visit to Cornwall back in 2017.
The Scottish Government were criticised after reporters were “barred” from former First Minister Alex Salmond’s resignation press conference after the independence referendum in 2014.
And Labour were slammed for refusing entry to certain journalists at conference and barring others from certain events during the 2017 General Election campaign.
They were also blasted after BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg needed bodyguards for personal protection at their conference.
Kensington and Chelsea Council were also criticised for stopping journalists attending a council meeting on the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Mapping Media Freedom has documented more than 3,000 press freedom incidents across Europe since May 2014 for the report Demonising the media: Threats to journalists in Europe.
Last night a Labour source said: “The examples cited in this muddled report are confused and misleading, in one case blaming us for a police decision. As Jeremy Corbyn said in a recent speech, journalism is a vital and proud profession and we believe journalists should be free to do their best work, not held back by bosses, billionaire owners or the state.”