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NUJ condemns Downing Street for limiting press freedom by boycotting journalists

DOWNING Street’s boycotting of journalists from certain news outlets “flies in the face of press freedom,” the National Union of Journalists told the Star today.

Political journalists staged a walkout from PM Boris Johnson’s residence after his chief spin-doctor Lee Cain expelled some reporters from a Brexit briefing.

A small number of hand-picked correspondents had been invited while others went through security and were allowed in. But then they were told to stand in two lines and  those from the more critical Daily Mirror, Independent, i, Huffington Post, and Politics Home were dismissed.

In protest the journalists walked out en masse, including the invited ones from the BBC, ITV, Guardian, Financial Times, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Sun.

When asked to explain Downing Street’s decision, Mr Cain said: “We’re welcome to brief whoever we like.”

An NUJ spokesperson told the Star that journalists need “to send a message that Downing Street can’t pick and choose” and that the union will be keeping an eye on Number 10 to see if it becomes a pattern.

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