Miliband Smears the Free Press Ahead of Tonight’s Vote

On the Today programme this morning, Ed Miliband made the very serious allegation that journalists impersonated medical staff after the Manchester Arena terror attack. Miliband cited Bob Kerslake’s report to claim:

“We had journalists posing as medical staff… it is a minority that’s bringing down the good name of the press, that minority hasn’t changed.”

From listening to Miliband, you’d think that the Kerslake report found evidence of this happening. All the report (PDF) actually contained was three unsubstantiated claims: one from a member of the public who spoke to “someone saying they were a Bereavement Nurse”, another from a member of the public who spoke to someone “they felt sounded to be more like a journalist”, and a third who claimed “TV journalists went to her school and phoned the hospital pretending to be from the police“. The Kerslake report did not find proof that any of this happened, or that any journalist was responsible. Despite Miliband’s assertion to the contrary, no evidence was found that any journalist posed as medical staff after the Manchester Arena attack. The claims were so lacking in substance that Kerslake does not even mention them in his report’s conclusions or recommendations. They would not stand up in a court of law (let alone meet the IPSO guidelines on accuracy). Miliband is peddling fake news to smear the press ahead of the vote tonight…


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Scruton reflects on Twitter’s vigilantes…

“We in Britain are entering a dangerous social condition in which the direct expression of opinions that conflict – or merely seem to conflict – with a narrow set of orthodoxies is instantly punished by a band of self-appointed vigilantes. We are being cowed into abject conformity around a dubious set of official doctrines and told to adopt a world view that we cannot examine for fear of being publicly humiliated by the censors. This world view might lead to a new and liberated social order; or it might lead to the social and spiritual destruction of our country. How shall we know, if we are too afraid to discuss it?”

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