Reporters “shut in a room” and banned from filming Theresa May during Cornwall visit

Reporters hit out at Theresa May during her visit to Cornwall today after local journalists were reportedly “shut in a room” and banned from filming her.

The Prime Minister is touring the South West but local media was stopped from recording her while she visited an industrial estate.

Reporters from the website Cornwall Live, which also has three weekly newspapers, were among those subjected to the ban.

And the website’s editor Jacqui Merrington revealed that reporters were only allowed to ask the Prime Minister two questions during the visit to the venue in Helston.

“When we arrived there we were told we were not allowed to film anything because we were invited as print media, which seems a bit 20th century really,” she said.

The editor of the three print weekly titles in Cornwall Scott Harrison said in a tweet: “Appalled by the arrogance & control freakery of Conservatives press team during PM’s visit to Cornwall. Ridiculous.”

And the deputy head of content at the website, Steve Smith, added: “Never known a visit like this. Our reporters banned from watching PM walk around a factory by Conservatives PR team.”

Cornwall Live, which has 100,000 daily page impressions, was live blogging the tour and had hoped to do some video for Facebook Live.

But it “felt tightly controlled”, according to the website’s editor.

She added: “To think that in this day and age – we were and still are a local newspaper – but we are a lot more than that. We are digital media and that is the case for most local media nowadays and to be restricted on that basis seems very archaic.

“We are quite a sizeable website and a large proportion of our audience comes through digital as well as the weekly papers.”

Mrs May is due to complete her visit in the South West with a trip to Plymouth, Devon.

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