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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Rafael Behr writes…

“By 2012, the number of Brits with more or less active Twitter accounts had overtaken the number of people who regularly bought a newspaper.”

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