National and local press photographers have been refused access to the general election count in Islington, which includes the parliamentary seat held by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Press Gazette understands that only agency photographers and national broadcast media have been accredited to attend the live results, but plans are underway to allow for one photographer to pool on behalf of the national and regional press.
An Islington Council spokesperson said it had experienced “huge demand from media for accreditation” at the count for Islington North (Corbyn’s seat) and Islington South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry’s seat) – which is being held in a sports hall.
They said: “We aim to be as accommodating as possible and certainly are allowing photographers to come to the Islington election count.
“We’ve accredited close to 100 reporters, broadcasters and photographers, and are working with the National Media Agency to offer space for a national newspaper photographer.”
A photographer who has covered past election counts for Tony Blair and David Cameron told Press Gazette they had “never heard of anything like it before”.
They said they were told there was “no room” at the Islington North count and “not enough staff to police photographers” who could “take pictures from the press agencies”.
Reporters who have been accredited will be permitted to take pictures on their phones, Press Gazette understands.
News Media Association deputy chief executive Lynne Anderson said: “Reporting on behalf of their readers, the press should be able to cover important democratic events such as election counts in a free and unfettered manner.
“Any local, regional or national newspaper which wishes to cover the election count in Islington should be able to do so and we have advised Islington Council accordingly.
“We will continue to push for the fullest possible access for our member publishers covering the general election on behalf of the public.”
Pictures: Reuters/Toby Melville