The news editor of lifestyle magazine and website Huck has been left baffled after being refused security clearance to cover this week’s Labour conference in Brighton.
Michael Segalov says that he has previously taken part in lawful and peaceful protests but has never been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime.
Writing on Huck he said: “It’s why the police’s decision to ban me from Labour Conference feels so unfair, irrational and bizarre.
“As far as I see it, Huck’s ability to conduct journalism freely is being attacked, as too are my personal freedoms of expression and association as enshrined in the law.
“The precedent here is worrying, alarming even, and it’s a decision that seems without doubt unjust. A free press is vital to the workings of a democracy: it allows us to scrutinise power, to share knowledge and to openly report.”
Segalov applied to cover the conference three months ago and was told last week by the Labour Party that his accreditation had been declined because he had not passed the necessary police security checks.
When Segalov queried the decision he was told that the police do not divulge reasons for refusal.
The decision appears to have been taken by Sussex Police.
He is currently looking at ways to appeal the decision and is being supported by his union, the National Union of Journalists.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “All applications to attend the conference are subject to an accreditation process. We will not disclose details about individual applications and the reasons for their refusal for operational reasons.”
This year the Labour Party has restricted journalists’ access to the conference floor, requiring them to watch proceedings from a balcony at the Brighton Centre.