Politicians and the press are too close.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of senior politicians and civil servants are reported to have attended lockdown-breaching parties organised by the Government over the last two years.

Yet it has taken months for the truth to emerge.

How did the press – which is famously close to this Government – fail to expose them sooner?

We need the press to expose corruption, not cover it up.

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We now know for a fact that the Deputy Editor of The Sun attended a lockdown party organised by No 10 but his newspaper did not report on it.

Then there are a series of meetings between the Government and newspaper editors which occurred on the same dates that lockdown parties are alleged to have taken place, including a party in November 2020 which was addressed by the Prime Minister himself.  Earlier this month ex-advisor Dominic Cummings alleged that reporters attended lockdown parties organised by No 10, and have subsequently sought to suppress the story.

We need to know what happened at the lockdown parties – including the question of whether national newspaper journalists or editors attended them and suppressed the truth.

Fundamentally, we need a thorough investigation into how close the press and our politicians have become.

Add your name today, to join us in calling for one.

 

Lockdown & the press: what we know so far

26th March 2020

The first national lockdown comes into effect.

12th April 2020

The Prime Minister’s advisor Dominic Cummings travels across the country while infected with COVID.

His wife, writing about his illness for The Spectator, includes no reference to this apparent breach of government guidance.

5th November 2020

After a period of relaxed restrictions, national lockdown comes back into force in England.

27th November 2020

Boris Johnson and national newspaper editors are revealed to have met on the same day that a lockdown-breaching party, attended by the Prime Minister, is alleged to have taken place.

None of the newspapers to meet the Prime Minister subsequently report on any party.

17th December 2020

Boris Johnson meets with national newspaper editors on the date a Cabinet Office party is also alleged to have taken place.  Transparency data reveals that the party’s host, Cabinet Secretary Simon Case, also met with The Telegraph on this date.

None of the newspapers to meet the Prime Minister or Cabinet Secretary subsequently report on any party.

16th April 2021

A party is organised by No 10 for James Slack, who was leaving his role as the Government’s Director of Communications to become Deputy Editor at The Sun.

The Sun do not publish the fact that this party happened.

6th December 2021

The Prime Minister’s former advisor Dominic Cummings alleges that journalists attended lockdown parties at No 10, and are trying to suppress the story.

Transparency data shows that over this period, including periods of national lockdown, dozens of un-minuted meetings took place between the Government and the press.

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