Parliament: Media - Protest motion on press `sackings'

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The Independent Online
SIX TORY MPs signed a Commons Early Day Motion yesterday protesting at the "sackings at the Sunday Express". The motion was tabled by the former Daily Telegraph political correspondent and Sunday Telegraph social affairs editor Julie Kirkbride, now MP for Bromsgrove.

The motion states that the House "notes with concern the summary dismissal of Ian Walker, executive editor of the Sunday Express and the attempted demotion of Amanda Platell, executive editor of the Sunday Express". It says this happened "only weeks after the newspaper revealed details of the Right Honourable Member for Hartlepool's (Peter Mandelson's) trip to Brazil and his friendship with Reinaldo Avila da Silva".

It states that the "proprietor of the Sunday Express, Labour peer and former adviser to the Right Hon Member for Hartlepool, exerted pressure on the editors of the Sunday Express to water down their story". That is a reference to Lord Hollick, chairman of the newspaper's owner, United News and Media. It calls on the Government "to support an open and free press and hopes there will be no further resignations from the Sunday Express".