Opinion: No politician should be above the law

PUBLISHED: 08:30 07 March 2020

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas wants a protected free press. Picture: SOPHIE COX

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas wants a protected free press. Picture: SOPHIE COX

Sophie Cox

We’re not even 100 days into Tory rule and it is already abundantly clear what the next five years have in store.

The prime minister has disappeared and so has his accountability.

The resignation of the chancellor after refusing to dismiss his advisors gave us a brief insight into Mr Johnson's premiership - he is shifting the pieces to centralise power.

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This move goes hand in hand with increasing attempts to destabilise and water down national media institutions such as the BBC and Channel 4 - last week MPs close to the PM revealed the latter is tabled for privatisation.

If this continues it will fundamentally change the way we receive news and information, which is a very worrying state of affairs as it undermines transparency and the accountability of elected representatives - not least the PM himself.

We have already begun to see a Trump-esque exclusion of the press from key government announcements, and a lack of visibility from the PM on national issues such as the ongoing floods. Add to this the potential review of the judiciary system, a move that by all accounts will curtail the independence of the courts and hand greater powers to government - and there are serious grounds for concern.

The bottom line in all this is that no politician should be above scrutiny and a free press should be protected at all costs.

No individual or organisation is above the law and any move by the prime minister to water down independent scrutiny bodies should be shown for what it is - an unscrupulous power grab.

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