MPs campaign for support for the Morning Star

A campaign to get the Morning Star newspaper back on the TV and radio is gathering momentum. For years there have been complaints from the Left that there was ever any mention of the Morning Star on TV and radio programmes that contained reviews of the press etc – certainly not since the glory days of ‘What The Papers Say’ (who can remember that far back!).

Now a campaign led by Ian Lavery MP, MPs are being asked to sign up to a Commons motion demanding that the Morning Star be featured regularly on BBC TV and radio.

The early day motion (EDM) called upon BBC director-general Mark Thompson to intervene and end a situation where the Morning Star “is rarely ever shown” on TV or mentioned on the radio.

Early Day Motion 1334 says:
This House notes the Morning Star is a national daily newspaper available in shops across the UK;

  • notes that it is the only socialist daily newspaper in the English language worldwide;
  • further notes that the Morning Star and its management have strong links with the trade union movement;
  • welcomes the different light it shines on news and current affairs than that of other dailies;
  • expresses concern that the Morning Star is rarely ever shown on or reported on by the BBC on television and radio;
  • calls upon the director general of the BBC to ensure that the Morning Star is featured regularly and as a matter of course in broadcast newspaper
  • reviews in the interests of fair and balanced reporting.

MPs declared in their EDM that the Morning Star was the only socialist daily newspaper in the English language worldwide and had strong links with the trade union movement.

They welcome the “different light it shines on news and current affairs” compared with other national dailies.

Ian Lavery MP said: “The Morning Star deserves a place in the BBC newspaper review section, both on TV and radio.”

He said he had read the Morning Star since his teenage years and stressed the importance to the labour movement of the paper’s industrial and political news coverage.

“It is the only way that the British public will receive detailed information from the left of movement regarding the horrendous cuts agenda of the Con-Dem coalition,” he said.

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd joined Labour MPs in signing the Morning Star motion.

Luton North Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins, who for many years has had the Morning Star delivered to his home by the local newsagent, was also a signatory to the EDM.
Kelvin said: “The Star is the only daily newspaper that consistently provides a platform for socialist ideas and socialist policies, supports the trade union movement and fights for working people and pensioners.”

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn condemned the BBC for “ignoring the existence of the Morning Star.”

He said that the corporation should be reminded of its public-service broadcasting obligation and recalled that he had read the paper “all my life.”

A BBC spokeswoman said today: “The regular newspapers we feature are national newspapers with large circulations. On occasion we may feature other publications if there are strong news lines and the papers are made available to us the night before.”

Liz Elkind, the chairwoman of the People’s Press Printing Society co-op which owns the Star, responded: “The BBC is a public service broadcaster with a duty to reflect the full political spectrum. If sales figures are the only measure, then the BBC is restricting access to media moguls who can buy their way in with huge marketing budgets and private distribution fleets.”

So what is needed is for union members, activists and supporters to write to their MP asking them to sign the EDM, or get your union to ensure their union supported MPs to sign up.

Update: Tory MP Julian “Red Baiter’ Lewis tries to derail MPs support for Morning Star – and fails miserably

News update: MPs want Morning Star on TV

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