Friday, 26 March 2021 15:24

Ed Davey denies 'fake newspapers' will impact local media in visit to Malmesbury Featured

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The leader of the Liberal Democrats has denied that the party’s political leaflets mimicking local newspapers will affect the industry.

He spoke out on a visit to Malmesbury.

The Lib Dems have been criticised for attempting to dupe the general public with fake local newspapers ahead of the May elections.

One example is in Wiltshire, where the Lib Dems have created 'The Wiltshire Post’.

Some of the team back out delivering today in a safe and secure way!

— Wiltshire Liberal Democrats 🔶 (@WiltsLibDems) March 8, 2021

In response, the News Media Association has launched the "Don’t be Duped" campaign, which calls on politicians from across the political spectrum to give their support to “real local journalism”.

But Ed Davey said he did not believe the material would have an impact on local daily and weekly papers across the country.

“Getting your message over to people is what politics has always been about, and they will be clearly badged and legal. They’ll have everything the law requires and I think people will enjoy reading them,” he said.

He added the party has 'always been a strong leader' in helping the local press.

“My concern is the press barons have not been very friendly to the Liberal Democrats over the years, and should we say rather more close to the Conservative Party and have been closing down local journalism and that’s completely wrong,” he said.

Wiltshire Times and Gazette & Herald editor Pete Gavan said: “Having the Lib Dems mimicking local newspapers only goes to undermine the vital and well-earned role we have in our communities as providers of trusted, impartial news.

“Of course, political parties are free to promote themselves, that should be done in a way that doesn’t potentially damage local newspapers.”

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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