MP calls on NUJ to intervene in Labour leadership contest

Ian Power, in Birmingham

Labour MP John McDonnell has urged the NUJ to hold the government to account on the safety of journalists abroad.

Speaking at the Union’s centenary annual delegate meeting today, McDonnell said he would be ensuring that the plight of journalists in conflict zones will be a key issue in the upcoming leadership contest of the Labour Party.

McDonnell blamed the government for endangering journalists in the first place by starting conflicts and for funding weapons for use in Columbia, where 500,000 trade unionists have been killed.

McDonnell was outraged that “the government are funding the very guns that are killing these people”.

Addressing the meeting in his capacity as Head of the NUJ Parliamentary Group, McDonnell said: “We will judge [the candidates] on their commitment to this issue,” and that affording our members a safe environment in which to do their job, at home or abroad, was “fundamental to democracy” – adding further that “whether it is in parliament or on the picket line we will be there in solidarity”.

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