A Sky News journalist has launched an angry tirade aimed at Downing Street after being refused access to a group of Muslim women due to be addressed by David Cameron.
Gerard Tubb, a Sky reporter, was outraged when he was stopped from talking to the Leeds-based group, despite standing just feet away from them, while all waiting for the Prime Minister to arrive.
The meeting between David Cameron and the group of women came as the prime minister announced plans to improve the language skills of immigrants, with a new £20m fund to help Muslim women in particular in a bid to tackle segregation.
Tubb said the lack of access to the group meant journalists would only be able to air "propaganda" from Downing St.
"Can we talk to these women?"
PM's office: "No, not before the PM arrives"
"There won't be any time" pic.twitter.com/lZkx3Wlr37— Gerard Tubb (@TubbSky) January 18, 2016
This gets worse. The PM will not talk to us here at all. "He might do a clip if we go to a mosque later"— Gerard Tubb (@TubbSky) January 18, 2016
Tubb, Sky's north of England correspondent, said he would have threatened to walk out and refuse to cover the event had he not been tasked with capturing footage of it for other broadcasters too.
He defended the decision to remain and film, saying it was "better to stay and push for access".
@TubbSky so walk out and refuse to cover it.— Donna_R_E (@Donna_R_E) January 18, 2016
I did suggest as much. We're the 'pool' for all broadcasters though, and anyway better to stay & push for access. https://t.co/RwoLHrmFwd— Gerard Tubb (@TubbSky) January 18, 2016
Tubb decried the handling of Monday's event, commenting after that it had left him "furious".
This is outrageous, we are journalists & we're not here to do your propaganda
I'm sorry you're angry
I'm not, I'm furious— Gerard Tubb (@TubbSky) January 18, 2016
Other journalists quickly piled in to point out the perceived irony in banning media outlets from talking to Muslim women about their reaction to Cameron's new initiative on the day the PM despaired too many risked radicalisation because they were "isolated".
Muslim women are to be seen and not heard. https://t.co/R36nNslarx— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) January 18, 2016
A Number 10 spokesperson insisted Tubb had been offered the chance to speak with the group's leader.
They added the cameras were only allowed to roll for 'five minutes', before the rest of their exchanges - a "private chat" - took place.
It is understood that Tubb had to comply with the usual security and logistical procedures that accompany 'pool' broadcast events with the Prime Minister.
He was offered the chance to talk to the group leader to arrange interviews with the women concerned after the Mosque event, one source said.