Commenting on reports that Government whips are seeking to target Conservative MPs with negative press coverage, Hacked Off Chief Executive Nathan Sparkes said,
Reports that the prospect of hostile press coverage is being used as a threat to silence MPs unhappy with the Prime Minister’s leadership are a new low in our politicians’ unhealthy relationship with the press.
They show how some newspapers, the original proponents of so-called “cancel culture”, are being approached to work in partnership with political factions to damage their opponents. The national press’ refusal to join an independent regulator means there is no real redress for the victims of press cancel culture when reporting is untrue.
No newspaper with a genuine belief in serving the public interest would allow itself to be used as a pawn in political power struggles.
Instead of exposing the powerful, newspapers are attending their parties and plotting their protection.
Leveson Part Two, the inquiry to investigate relationships between the press, the Government and the police, has never been more vital.