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NUJ general secretary Stanistreet calls for John Whittingdale to resign as she is re-elected unopposed

By Dominic Ponsford

Michelle Stanistreet has been re-elected to a second five-year term as general secretary of the National Union of Journalists.

And speaking at the union's conference today she called on Culture Secretary John Whittingdale to resign over his handling of the fact he had a relationship with a woman who worked as a dominatrix.

She said: "It’s not his sex life, but that he has compromised his position and integrity by allowing his privacy to be shielded by the newspaper owners who have been leaning on him throughout this time, in order that he deliver on press regulation and on the emasculation of the BBC.

"The reality is that in not coming clean to Parliament about a clear conflict of interest, Whittingdale compromised his own position. He’s taken decisions of vital interest where his knowledge of the dirt that Paul Dacre has had on him cannot but have had an impact.

"We cannot be expected to believe that the sweets he’s served up to the industry on press regulation and the BBC are but a coincidental meeting of minds. He should resign and he should resign right now.”

She told the meeting that the union's finances had improved under her watch: "We had committed to rebuilding reserves – with the goal of £2million by 2020. We have surpassed that goal already and are in the position of being able to self-finance a renovation of Headland House, the union’s sole asset, that will not only significantly increase the value of our headquarters, but will provide a vital source of enhanced income.”

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