The Conservative Party have been branded ‘Trumpian’ and condemned by the UK’s Society of Editors after banning a reporter from the Daily Mirror from their bus.
The Mirror say it was the “first time ever” they were excluded from the Tory Party’s campaign coach, and add that senior Tory aides have told them it was because the outlet criticised the prime minister.
Former Labour spin doctor and The New European journalist Alastair Campbell said the move echoed efforts by Donald Trump to quash press freedom in the United States.
In November 2018, Trump banned CNN reporter Jim Acosta from White House briefings after being critical of the US president and refusing to let Trump not answer one of his questions in a press conference.
Trump has also widely condemned stories that are critical of him and his policies as ‘fake news’.
Campbell, who formerly wrote for the Mirror, tweeted: “As a Daily Mirror journalist I battered Thatcher and Major as hard as anyone and not once in a decade or so did they ever deny me the same access as any other journalist trying to do their job.
“We are in dark and dangerous times and Boris Johnson just is not funny”.
The Tories have also been condemned by the UK’s Society of Editors, a group of 400 editors from different publications, programmes and websites whose mission is to protect the freedom of the UK media.
Ian Murray, executive director at the Society of Editors, said: “This is a disturbing development.
“The Soiety does not support any political cause but does believe in and campaign for press freedom and the public’s right to know.
“All mainstream media should be given equal access to the political parties fighting this election.
“To restrict some media voices is not acceptable nor compatible with the principle of media freedom.”
The Daily Mirror’s editor, Alison Phillips, said: “Mirror readers have every right to know what the Conservatives have in store for them should Boris Johnson win the election.
“Our journalists have every right to scrutinise the Conservatives on our readers’ behalf.
“Blocking us from doing our job is deeply worrying for freedom of journalism and the protection of the truth.”
David Lammy MP also claimed other journalists should refuse to get on the campaign coach in solidarity.
“Journalists who value press freedom should stand in solidarity with (The Daily Mirror) and refuse to get on Boris Johnson’s bus,” he said.
“The alternative is normalising and legitimising Donald Trump’s tactics in the UK.”