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Bristol Council bans reporters from quizzing Labour mayor

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  • June 23, 2022June 23, 2022

The council working one in every of Britain’s wokest cities was right this moment accused of stifling free speech after banning a reporter asking a Labour politician why he flew throughout the Atlantic to offer a 14-minute speech on local weather change.

Native democracy reporter Alex Seabrook, who works with the BBC and the Bristol Stay web site, questioned Marvin Rees concerning the ‘irony’ of travelling to Canada to offer a TED discuss saving the planet when he may have executed it on Zoom.

Mr Seabrook, who requested Mayor Rees why he noticed match to jet throughout the Atlantic having beforehand declared a ‘local weather emergency’ in 2018, will now now not attend the press conferences after his bosses accused the council of stifling free speech.

In a toe-curling press convention, Saskia Konynenburg, head of communications at Bristol Metropolis Council, intervened saying she disagreed that Mr Seabrook’s query on the mayor’s 9,200-mile carbon-spouting spherical journey in April to offer a local weather discuss was ‘reputable’.

Ms Konynenburg describes herself as an ‘influential communications chief, targeted strategist and progressive content material creator’ and was solely a reporter for 3 months in her profession largely working for the general public sector and charities, in accordance with LinkedIn.

When Mr Seabrook mentioned his job was to carry the mayor to account, she replied: ‘I feel it most likely is from a journalist from a newspaper, however I am unable to fairly see the hyperlink to LDR, however I am going to go away it there.’ 

In a toe-curling press convention, Saskia Konynenburg, head of communications at Bristol Metropolis Council, intervened saying she disagreed that Mr Seabrook’s query was ‘reputable’.

Local democracy reporter Alex Seabrook, who works with the BBC and the Bristol Live website, questioned Marvin Rees about the 'irony' of his long flight to deliver a talk on climate change

Local democracy reporter Alex Seabrook, who works with the BBC and the Bristol Live website, questioned Marvin Rees about the 'irony' of his long flight to deliver a talk on climate change

Reporter Alex Seabrook (left), who works with the BBC and the Bristol Stay web site, questioned Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees (proper) concerning the ‘irony’ of his lengthy flight to ship a chat on local weather change

Life in Bristol: Britain’s wokest metropolis 

Cider boycott 

Bristol’s woke warriors attracted recent ridicule by calling for the general public to boycott a preferred cider producer over its tenuous hyperlinks to slave dealer Edward Colston.

The ‘Countering Colston’ group – which campaigns to cleanse Bristol of his legacy – had been branded ‘heartless bastards’ for urging drinkers to not purchase Thatchers Cider in February.

Activists are offended about fourth era cider maker Martin Thatcher’s membership of the Society of Service provider Venturers, which is now a charitable organisation devoted to schooling and the care of the aged however in its earlier incarnation had Colston as a member and was closely concerned in Transatlantic slavery.

Jury clears ‘Kill the Invoice’ rioter who stole PC’s weapon and kicked his defend

In Might a jury cleared a Kill the Invoice rioter after accepting he was performing in self-defence when he stole an officer’s baton and kicked their defend – months after BLM activists who tore down a statue of Edward Colston additionally walked free.

Kadeem Yarde, 24, was amongst lots of of younger individuals who marched on Bridewell police station in Bristol metropolis centre on March 21 final 12 months.

Greater than 40 officers had been injured throughout the ‘mass dysfunction’, by which the home windows of the police station had been smashed and several other automobiles set alight.

The demonstration was organised to indicate discontent in direction of the Authorities’s Police, Sentencing and Courts Invoice – with the riots subsequently dubbed ‘Kill the Bill’ protests.

Feminist scholar loses negligence case towards ‘woke’ Bristol College over claims bosses backed trans activists who threatened her

In April a PhD scholar has misplaced her try and sue Bristol College after claiming they colluded with trans activists who wished to ‘cancel her’ when she mentioned solely organic ladies can provide beginning.

Raquel Rosario-Sanchez had alleged college chiefs had failed to guard her when the row blew up over the usage of the phrase ‘maternity’.

Feminist Ms Rosario-Sanchez mentioned Bristol – dubbed the nation’s ‘wokest’ college – didn’t sort out transgender activists who focused her in a two-year hate marketing campaign.

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Mayor Rees was final 12 months branded a ‘bully’ and an ‘egoist’ after councillors – together with from his personal Labour group – accused him of sidelining them and shutting down debate.   

Bristol Metropolis Council was branded woke after it paid for purple lightbulbs to be put in to mark the loss of life of George Floyd at a BLM vigil. The town’s mayor joined protests in his metropolis towards Brexit. 

He additionally known as the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston within the metropolis as an act of ‘historic poetry’. In Might 2022, a referendum befell in Bristol to determine if the town ought to proceed being run by a mayor or a council-led committee system. The town voted 59% in favour of abolishing the submit. Rees will proceed to function mayor till 2024 earlier than the job is axed.

The Native Democracy Reporting Service is a information company funded by the BBC, with reporters engaged on regional titles throughout the UK overlaying native authorities and different public-service our bodies.

Within the press briefing from June 8, Mr Seabrook requested: ‘I wish to say your TED discuss was very attention-grabbing.

‘I questioned, firstly, for those who noticed the irony in flying to date for local weather change, and secondly, why you possibly can’t use Zoom as an alternative?’

Mr Rees mentioned that he felt that there was ‘no irony’ as a result of ‘mayors should be concerned in shaping nationwide and worldwide coverage.’

He added: ‘We will not go away it to nationwide politicians as a result of they’re failing us, we noticed that at COP. Invoice Gates was there.

‘He was there to fight local weather change. Elon Musk was there.

‘So the query is, how do you get the largest platform.

‘Then it’s how do you maximise the platform for that?

‘With all one of the best will on the earth, getting it on the Bristol Stay web site is not going to offer us that platform, is it?’

Nevertheless, after he had completed talking, Ms Konyenburg steered the query was inappropriate for Mr Seabrook to ask in his function as an LDR.

She mentioned: ‘When it comes to your function as an LDR, from my understanding, it will be to report and supply neutral protection concerning the common workings of native authorities and public sector our bodies.

‘My query is that Marvin was totally funded by TED to attend this convention, so I could not fairly perceive what the function is in an LDR asking these questions?’

The reporter replied: ‘It is holding individuals who lead native authorities to account, clearly being the chief of Bristol Metropolis Council there have been questions concerning the large quantity of carbon emissions from flying to date. So I feel it’s a reputable query.’

Ms Konynenburg interjects: ‘I feel it most likely is from a journalist from a newspaper, however I am unable to fairly see the hyperlink to LDR, however I am going to go away it there.’

The Bristol Submit right this moment agreed to not ship Native Democracy Reporters (LDR) to occasions held by Bristol Metropolis Council’s mayor, a spokesperson for the council mentioned.

However they insisted that the LDR reporters weren’t barred.

It comes after a council boss blasted one of many reporters, a part of a information service funded by the BBC, – as a result of they had been ‘not a journalist from a newspaper’.

Marvin Rees speaks to demonstrators on College Green in Bristol protesting in favour of the EU and against Brexit

Marvin Rees speaks to demonstrators on Faculty Inexperienced in Bristol protesting in favour of the EU and towards Brexit

Saskia Konynenburg, head of communications at Bristol Metropolis Council, disagreed {that a} query on the mayor’s 4,600 carbon-spouting journey to offer a local weather discuss was ‘reputable’.

The query was put ahead by Native Democracy Reporter Alex Seabrook, who works with the BBC and the native Bristol publications.

A spokesperson for Bristol Metropolis Council confirmed there had been a ‘long-standing’ settlement the reporters would not be despatched.

They mentioned: ‘There was a long-standing mutual settlement between the Mayor’s Workplace and the Submit about personnel attending press conferences each time they’re introduced and held, and that LDR’s wouldn’t be despatched as a result of slim definition of their function as an neutral service.’

  

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