‘Censorship’: Brexit Party bans Channel 4 News, prompting Twitter furore on press freedom
The Brexit Party has blacklisted Channel 4 News, dishing out a 6-week access ban preventing them from covering events, leading to accusations of press censorship and calls for other broadcasters to boycott the Euroskeptic group.
According to Benjamin de Pear, editor of Channel 4 News, his media outlet was “unaware” of the ban until they broadcast an investigation into Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s relationship with entrepreneur Arron Banks on Thursday. In it they claimed that Farage had been “bankrolled” to the tune of £450k by Banks.
De Pear insists that “until then [broadcast of investigation] we had full access, including to Farage.”
We hope to resolve our access ban from Brexit Party events ASAP. We were unaware of the 6-week ban until last Thursday when we broadcast this Nigel Farage investigation, revealing he had been bankrolled by £450k from Arron Banks. Until then we had full access, including to Farage https://t.co/giVSm2CIxg
— Ben de Pear (@bendepear) May 21, 2019
The temporary blacklisting of Channel 4 News has led to calls on Twitter for other broadcasters to boycott the Brexit Party in a show of solidarity. Boycott action was backed by Labour MP and staunch EU Remainer David Lammy, and Guardian journalist Marina Hyde who branded the Brexit Party’s ban as “Trump bulls**t.”
All media should boycott Brexit Party events if they have really blacklisted Channel 4 News for exposing the truth. https://t.co/TypbNSXAT3
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 21, 2019
media standing by while their peers get banned is how the US broadcasters got themselves in such a mess. It’s so obvious with hindsight that it’s never a one-off spat https://t.co/SsJaqte4ZD
— Janine Gibson (@janinegibson) May 21, 2019
It’s perhaps not the kind of response Farage and his fellow Brexit Party supporters would have hoped for, particularly if other news outlets back a boycott.
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Many welcomed the prospect of a news blackout on Farage and his party with one Twitter user saying: “… sounds good to me let’s make it happen.” Another insisted that it was the “Best news out there… you got them spooked.”
Best news out there at the moment, keep up the good work C4, u got them spooked
— Paul Lam (@Lammy101) May 21, 2019
However, the Brexit Party has been praised in other quarters on social media. Kate Hoey, the Brexiteer MP for Vauxhall called it “a sensible decision” as Channel 4 News had never said “anything positive about Leaving the EU.”
Hoey’s response was rebuked by many with one Twitter user sarcastically telling the Euroskeptic politician: “You’re an MP advocating censorship. Wonderful.”
Good idea. They should ban the biased @BBCNews too. It’s little more than a propaganda machine for Remainers.
— Spartacus (@CharlesLondon62) May 20, 2019
You’re an MP advocating censorship. Wonderful.
— Duke of Preston (@DOPreston) May 21, 2019
It comes after Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown at him during a walkabout in Newcastle city center on Monday, leaving the MEP angry with his security officials for not preventing the attack.
The alleged offender, Paul Crowther, 32, from Throckley, Newcastle, was charged on Tuesday with “common assault and criminal damage.”
RT has reached out to the Brexit Party for comment. The group did not respond at the time of publishing.
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