Nadine Dorries pays tribute to journalists covering Russia-Ukraine war
BBC

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries got choked up as she thanked brave British journalists who are reporting on the ground in Ukraine.

The Tory MP was close to tears in the House of Commons as she thanked all the journalists in Ukraine who are “risking their lives” “to bring us unbiased and accurate news”.

She said: “I’d just like to offer my heartfelt thanks and admiration… to all of those journalists working for the BBC, the ITV and other news outlets who are risking their lives to bring us unbiased and accurate news from a live warzone.”

Dorries added: “We will keep ratcheting up the pressure on Putin and I will use all the levers in my department to ensure that he is fully ostracised from the international community.”

Twitter users were quick to point out that the culture secretary has not always had such glowing words when it comes to discussions around the BBC.

Some recalled that not two weeks ago, she said the BBC had a problem with “groupthink” and likened the broadcaster to a “polar bear on a shrinking ice cap”.

VICE Executive Editor Matthew Champion quipped: “Nadine Dorries seems to have had her road to Damascus moment on what the BBC and other news organisations actually do.”

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Dorries herself has been in front of the camera in recent weeks…

Following the publication of Sue Gray’s interim report on partygate, she appeared in several car-crash interviews, and at one point stone-walled the BBC’s Charlie Stayt in what is perhaps the most awkward two minutes of television we’ve ever seen.

She also sparked a meme frenzy when she “snarled” during a different BBC interview in the same week.

It’s great that she’s giving journalists the recognition they deserve, but it’s apparently taken a devastating conflict for the culture secretary to realise how important the BBC’s reportage is…

Earlier this year, she said “this licence fee announcement will be the last” amid reports it will be frozen for the next two years. The annual payment, which normally changes on April 1 each year, is expected to be kept at the current rate of £159 until April 2024.

Along with cutting the national broadcaster’s funding by potentially binning the licence fee, she has also accused the BBC of nepotism… despite Dorries herself formerly employing her own daughters.

In other news, Dorries also told the Commons that Ofcom is now reviewing whether to revoke Kremlin-backed channel Russia Today’s broadcast licence entirely.

She said that Vladimir Putin “must not be allowed to exploit our open and free media to spread poisonous propaganda into British homes”.

She added: “And that is why I wrote to Ofcom last week urging them to examine any potential breaches of the broadcasting code.

“Ofcom has since opened 27 investigations into RT, and they are now reviewing whether to revoke RT’s licence entirely.

“In the meantime, those investigations have been taken over by events and I was very glad to see yesterday that the channel is now officially off air on British televisions, after it shut down on Sky, Freeview and Freesat.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)