Local authority moves to ban 'lying' Sun newspaper following councillor motion

A controversial decision by Cheshire West and Chester Council to shun The Sun over its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster threatens to force the council's comms team not to engage with Britain's biggest selling newspaper.

The Sun, then and now, on Hillsborough
The Sun, then and now, on Hillsborough
Officials are currently looking at formalising the wishes of the council into policy after councillors voted in favour of a motion to "ensure that elected Members and staff do not advertise or give interviews to The S*n newspaper." 

The motion also pledged the council’s support of "all local vendors who choose to stop selling The S*n newspaper."

The stance means that the council’s comms team could be placed in the tricky position of not cooperating with the powerful tabloid.

Labour councillor Paul Donovan, who proposed the motion, commented: "The Sun Newspaper is not the hallmark of a free and open press, it is not tolerant and its reporting is not fair. They have been found out for lying, for abusing their power and for failing to admit when they got it wrong. This motion recognises the impact that these actions have had on local families in our Borough whose loved ones lost their lives at Hillsborough."

The motion was voted through last month after a debate where opposition Tory councillors expressed concerns about free speech. 

The Sun Newspaper is not the hallmark of a free and open press, it is not tolerant and its reporting is not fair. They have been found out for lying, for abusing their power and for failing to admit when they got it wrong.

Labour councillor Paul Donovan, Cheshire West and Chester Council
However, in the end just one Tory councillor voted against the motion, one voted in favour and the rest abstained. All Labour councillors voted for the proposals.

Councillor Richard Beacham, who seconded the motion, commented: "It’s about making a stand against the unacceptable, by putting our hands up to The Sun and saying ‘look - you do what you want to do, but we don't want any part in it.’"

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s decision to support a boycott of the tabloid newspaper is the latest by a swathe of councils in the north west of England. 

Long-standing resentment over the way in which The Sun reported events at Hillsborough in 1989 was reignited after the inquest into the deaths concluded last year.

In a statement, a spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council told PRWeek: "As a politically led organisation, we will respect the decision taken by our elected members. We are considering the implications of this and are reviewing our media policy to accommodate the notice of motion voted through."
 


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