Labour Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis Branded 'Depressing' and 'Ridiculous' By NUJ
Labour’s Ivan Lewis has been branded “depressing” and “ridiculous” after saying bad journalists should be struck off and blacklisted from work.
The shadow culture secretary claimed in his conference speech on Tuesday that reporters should be on a GP-style professional register.
But his comments have been attacked as scapegoating the press.
“It’s depressing to hear a Labour Party shadow minister call for the blacklisting of journalists,” Michelle Stanistreet National Union of Journalists general secretary told The Huffington Post UK.
“He claimed not to approve of state meddling in press freedom but that’s precisely what his ridiculous statement amounts to.
“Is he actually calling for a state-approved register of journalists, one where politicians or media owners can strike through names at their will?"
Mr Lewis also targeted the hacking scandal and Rupert Murdoch’s influence on the media. He sent a warning to News International that Labour will never allow it to bully or use political influence for commercial gain.
But Stanistreet added: “Let’s not forget that the NUJ has been locked out of Murdoch’s Fortress Wapping for decades.
“There’s a direct parallel between union-busting at News International and the moral vacuum that’s been allowed to proliferate – a culture that’s been led from those at the top.
“Yet it’s ordinary working journalists who are being sacrificed and whose livelihoods have been destroyed whilst those at the top of News International enjoy impunity.
“And politicians must remember that they, more than anyone, indulged the worst excesses of Rupert Murdoch.
“Journalists and press freedom absolutely must not be scapegoated in the search for higher standards or for the sake of political soundbites.”