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Backlash as government stands up Channel 4 for eighth day in row

The government is facing criticism after it refused to send a representative to appear on Channel 4 News for the eighth day in a row.

Writing on Twitter, Hayley Barlow, Director of Communications at the broadcaster, said the government had not offered a minister to appear on their programmes for over a week.

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“We asked for an interview with a government minister on Channel 4 News to talk about the effects of coronavirus, but were told for the 8th day in a row that no-one would be made available,” she said.

Responding to Barlow’s tweet, Labour MP Dawn Butler said: “This is unacceptable!”.

This news is in keeping with a pattern of behaviour from the government in terms of its media strategy.

During the general election campaign, Boris Johnson snubbed Channel 4 by refusing to attend a debate on climate change, while he also avoided media scrutiny by hiding in a fridge.

The government is holding daily press briefings to inform the nation about the pandemic, but without full interviews.

Over 10,000 people have died in the UK from the coronavirus pandemic. Now, more than ever, ministers should be speaking to the media.

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