Laughter erupts as Tory MP claims government is ‘committed to open dealings with press’

February 6, 2020

Thank you, Mr Speaker,
for your direction there and for the opportunity
to clarify this situation. This government, Mr Speaker,
are committed to being open in its dealings with the press
and to the principles of media freedom, and the events of yesterday
were a very good example of this. [Laughter] The prime minister
delivered a speech … It is entirely standard practice
for the government to host additional technical, specialist briefings,
as was the case yesterday. Mr Speaker, I am delighted
that there are so many honourable and right honourable
members here today who would also like to improve
their understanding of such things. The government’s behaviour
in these matters threatens the civil service’s core values
of impartiality and objectivity. It also brings into question
the integrity of future government media briefings and the conduct
of its special advisers, and it damages a free
and vibrant press, which is central to this
parliamentary democracy. Can I just say to the honourable lady:
that is woeful and desperate. It would make Comical Ali look like
a Pulitzer Prize winner in what she said. Yesterday was a black day
for press freedom and no amount of sleek, self-justifying
nonsense from the honourable lady is going to get her off
the Trumpian hook. The next thing, the prime minister
will be talking about fake news and banning broadcasters!
Oh, wait! He already has. We all know that the prime minister
looks like a prize buffoon under hard questions he does not like. Isn’t that the real reason that we have
this particular agenda, minister?

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