Brown's British Values

When one hears of reporters being manhandled and assaulted by undercover police for asking awkward questions of leading politicians, one usually thinks of places like soviet Russia, Communist China, Zimbabwe or some tin pot fascist dictatorship.

This couldn't happen here, after all freedom of the press is one of those Great British Values that Gordon Brown is so fond of reminding us about. Or is it? Apparently not according to this report in The Times:
Gordon Brown dodged reporters’ questions about his leadership when he arrived in Liverpool to address the North West Economics Conference before heading to Scotland to talk to the Scottish CBI tonight. A reporter was repeatedly manhandled away from Mr Brown by undercover police officers.

And later at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool a Special Branch officer and two uniformed police officers interrupted a reporter’s interview with Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport. Mr Burnham said he was unaware of Mr Clarke’s comments so declined to respond. The reporter was forced to give his details to the police.

Despite being accredited for the event, the reporter, John Fahey from the Press Association, alleges he was forced away by Special Branch and members of the COI, the organisation which handles regional media events. He claims he was "belted in the solar plexus quite forcefully" after confronting Brown with questions about Charles Clarke's comments this morning.

If his account of events is correct, it seems extraordinary that special branch should interrupt an interview with the Culture Secretary...

1 comment:

  1. the coppers should be feeling Brown's collar