Conservatives say they’ll oppose bill if it blocks the BBC
Posted On July 14, 2021
Conservatives say the bill threatens free speech and could stop the BBC from broadcasting a program about a terrorist attack in Britain.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee voted to pass the legislation Friday, but it is unclear if it will become law and how it will be enforced.
The bill is backed by the National Security Council and includes provisions that would bar the BBC and other U.K. news media outlets from discussing the BBC’s reporting on the June 13 terrorist attack that killed 22 people at London’s subway station and at a concert hall in Manchester, England.
In a letter to House Speaker Andrew Lansley and other committee members, the British Conservative Party said it was “deeply concerned” about the bill and urged the committee to reject it.
Conservative MP David Anderson said the bill is an “attack on freedom of the press.”
“The bill would make it very difficult for the BBC to cover the Manchester bombing,” he told the Associated Press.
“We have an obligation to protect our country and its people.
The BBC should be able to report on terrorism, but we also need to be able see how it is being done.”
The House Science and Entertainment Committee will hold a hearing on the bill next week.
Conservatives have criticized the British Broadcasting Corporation for its coverage of the Manchester attack and criticized the National Public Radio for not broadcasting the news.
The British Broadcasting Corp. said it would not air coverage of events related to the bombing until after the bill was enacted.