The Brexit Party is wrong to ban Channel 4

Such Trumpian behaviour has no place in a movement for democracy.


Topics Free Speech Politics UK

The UK Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh reported last night that Channel 4 News has been banned from all future Brexit Party events, following an ‘incident involving access to a Leave Means Leave rally six weeks ago’ – Leave Means Leave being the pro-Brexit campaign group that preceded the Brexit Party and organised the huge Brexit rally in Westminster in March.

Waugh adds that Channel 4 News only found out about the ban after it aired a report into Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s personal finances last week. The report revealed that UKIP backer Arron Banks had put Farage up in a house in Chelsea and paid for a driver and security for him after the referendum.

Watergate it wasn’t. That report, like so much of the media coverage of the Brexit Party, has been embarrassing and desperate, another sign of a media elite desperate to downplay the Brexit Party’s rise and present it as some criminal conspiracy.

But – if true – this ban is completely wrong. Media freedom is central to political life. Regardless of the content of their coverage, news organisations must have access to politicians and their events. This Trumpian behaviour has no place in a movement for democracy. Plus it hands a needless PR win to the Remainer press, who will now pose like unconvincing warriors for truth and press freedom.

There’s an added irony, of course – until recently, many news outlets have been skipping Brexit Party (and before it, Leave Means Leave) rallies anyway, despite them drawing thousands of people. But short of Channel 4 News staff brawling with BP supporters, there’s no justification for this ban.

If anything, Jon Snow and Co have been a gift to the Brexit Party thus far. From Snow’s weird ‘white people’ comment at the Westminster Leave Means Leave rally to Matt Frei’s lame ‘exposé’ last week, its coverage crystallises the aloof, deluded and disdainful elite which the Brexit Party is railing against.

Reinstate them now. The more the media misrepresent the Leave revolt, the more Leavers know they were right to back Brexit in the first place.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Free Speech Politics UK


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