Sky News has claimed it has been snubbed for interviews with Conservative ministers because Theresa May’s campaign team are “unhappy” with aspects of its political coverage.
The broadcaster has spoken out after claiming it wasn’t initially invited to follow May’s campaign tour and struggled to access events featuring the Prime Minister.
It also claims not to have received an advanced copy of the Conservative manifesto, launched today, despite some news outlets being given it under embargo, according to Buzzfeed.
“Since early in the election campaign, Sky News has not been getting live interviews on election issues with Conservative ministers,” a Sky News spokesperson told Press Gazette.
“We understand this to be because members of the Prime Minister’s team are unhappy with aspects of our political coverage. Sky News stands by its journalism and is committed to fair, impartial and accurate reporting of all the political parties.”
Sky News’ editor-at-large Adam Boulton was chastised in a message sent by May’s joint chief of staff Fiona Hill, a former Sky News journalist, last month after speculating on-air that a sudden public announcement (which turned out to be the call for a snap general election) could be about the Prime Minister’s health.
Boulton read the message out on air, which appeared to include a derogatory reference to his weight: “You might want to tell Bunter that he should watch what he is saying about my boss’s health, utterly unfounded and untrue.”
Hill said she would be complaining to head of Sky News John Ryley.
The news channel is also understood to have annoyed Downing Street with a story claiming “gaffe-prone” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had been kept out of the spotlight during the general election campaign to “avoid any slip-ups”.
Buzzfeed claimed last week that Labour had restricted its access to Jeremy Corbyn for the rest of his campaign as a result of an interview in which it quoted him as saying he would stay on as praty leader even if he lost the general election.
Press Gazette has asked the Conservative Party for comment.