Brexit Party allows Channel 4 News access again - but Labour MP still defends the ban

PUBLISHED: 17:56 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:02 23 May 2019

Kate Hoey campaigning for Brexit with Nigel Farage in 2016, prior to the referendum. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Kate Hoey campaigning for Brexit with Nigel Farage in 2016, prior to the referendum. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

2016 Getty Images

Kate Hoey has continued to defend the Brexit Party's decision to ban Channel 4 News from its events, even after the party and the broadcaster settled their differences.

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The Brexit Party made Channel 4 aware of the ban just a few days after the broadcasting of an investigation into Nigel Farage's political funding.

Outspoken Brexiteer Hoey approved of this, tweeting that it was a "sensible decision" as "Channel 4 News never ever has said anything positive about leaving the EU".

When approached by The New European about whether the Labour Party condones media bans on the basis of negative coverage, the party declined to comment.

The Brexit Party later claimed the ban related to a weeks-old dispute about "the behaviour of a Channel 4 News and camera crew at the rally in Parliament Square on 29 March".

"Having secured unauthorised access to a secure zone, the Channel 4 team repeatedly lied, falsely claiming that they had been invited in," alleged the party in a statement.

"When challenged by [party chairman] Mr Tice and asked to leave, they repeatedly refused."

Channel 4 said it does not accept any assertion of lying, and said they had been escorted into the secure area by a press officer from campaign group Leave Means Leave.

"We are pleased that this matter has now reached a conclusion, six weeks after an incident we were unaware of and five days after our Channel 4 News investigation into Nigel Farage," said the broadcaster.

Despite this disagreement, Channel 4 News has been given access again by the party.

However, Hoey continued to defend her tweet, telling The New European that she had not been "suggesting a change in law", but that she was "simply saying that I can understand organisations not wanting particular media outlets into certain functions.

"Any organisation has that right and there is nothing against this in law."

Many took to Twitter when the ban was first announced.

Labour MP David Lammy called on other broadcasters to boycott the events in solidarity.

The editor of the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard, tweeted: "Banning mainstream media because they do their job and scrutinise is a dangerous tactic that must be resisted."

Pollard, who has been vocally critical of Labour for the antisemitic behaviour of some party members, added: "I wonder if all those who say it's perfectly fine for the Brexit Party to ban Channel 4 News from its events would say the thing if, say, Labour was to ban the Jewish Chronicle because they don't like our relentless coverage and exposure of Labour antisemitism.

"Can't have it both ways..."

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