Free Press

28th February 2018

Anne Main MP has used today’s Prime Minister’s Questions to back a free press and rail against press regulation.

During questions to Prime Minister, Theresa May, Mrs Main thumped, ‘A free, independent press is vital to our country. Does my right hon. Friend share my concerns about the links that Max Mosley has with Impress, and his links with some of our leading politicians?’

The question followed recent revelations over Mr Mosley’s alleged racist remarks in campaign literature from the 1960s.  Mr Mosley has been one of the most high-profile supporters of press regulation, and has funded state-regulator, Impress. 

Mrs May agreed with the St Albans MP, saying that,

‘[A] free press is very important: it underpins our democracy.  Whatever those in the press say about us and whatever they write about us, it is important that they are able to hold politicians and the powerful to account and shine a light in some of the darkest corners of our society, and while I am Prime Minister, that will never change.’

The Prime Minister added that she had been ‘surprised’ by the links with Max Mosely and some leading politicians.

In the last parliament, Mrs Main vigorously opposed any attempts to muzzle the free press.  She tabled an early day motion in parliament, which stated that state-regulation would create ‘a chilling effect on journalism and would stifle investigative journalism.’

During her campaign last year, Mrs Main remarked that,

‘For over 300 years a free press has been uncovering injustices in the public interest. Having a non-state regulated press is one of the hallmarks of being British, and demonstrates the value that we attach to free speech.

‘We have some of the best journalists and publications in the world who rely on their freedoms to do their work. By having state regulation, you are potentially leaving the door open to free speech being curtailed by the whim of the political weather.’

Constituency Map

View St Albans in a larger map

Bangladesh APPG Report

Download the report by the Bangladesh All Party Parliamentary Group: ‘After Rana Plaza’: A report into the readymade garment industry in Bangladesh.

Click here