Journalists from the Guardian, Financial Times and Mirror were allegedly shunned on Priti Patel’s recent trip to Rwanda this month.
According to reports in the Press Gazette, dubbed a “backhanded compliment” by Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire, several national newspapers were excluded from the trip and not given any detailed briefing on the policy.
The Home Office has been accused of trying to “avoid public scrutiny” by the Guardian‘s home affairs editor Rajeev Syal.
A Financial Times spokesperson also said it is “clearly not good practice to exclude some media from government briefings simply because they are willing to ask difficult questions.”
In 2020 political journalists including the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and ITV’s Robert Peston staged a walkout after Downing Street communications staff attempted to brief some journalists but not others.
Those excluded by former Mirror and Sun journalist Lee Cain included journalists from PA, the Mirror, the i, Huffpost UK, Politics Home and The Independent.
A Home Office spokesperson told Press Gazette: “The Home Office fully adheres to the Government Communication Service Propriety Guidance when dealing with members of the media.”