Boris Johnson Claims Stop Funding Hate Attack Press Freedom and Democracy - RightsInfo

Boris Johnson Claims Stop Funding Hate Attack Press Freedom and Democracy

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has slammed a campaign group which calls on businesses to stop advertising in certain newspapers, saying they attack free speech.

Writing in The Sun, he accused Stop Funding Hate of launching a “vicious attack” on freedom of expression, something which is protected by Article 10 of the Human Rights Convention.

“We can rightly be proud of the British tradition of free speech […] that was part of the reason this country rose to economic and political greatness. It’s incredible to find that this freedom of expression is now under vicious attack – in our own country.

“A small but dedicated group of left-wing activists has launched a campaign to undermine the financial base of some newspapers whose views they dislike. They have attacked the advertisers who help to fund those newspapers, and who make it possible for reporters to bring new facts into the public domain.”

He adds they are “attacking the freedom which is the foundation of our democracy.”

Who Are Stop Funding Hate?

Video Credit: Stop Funding Hate

Stop Funding Hate aims to encourage brands to stop advertising with the Daily Mail, The Sun or the Daily Express. They argue that hostile media coverage fuels prejudice, hate crimes and division – something which contradicts the equality at the heart of our human rights.

So far, LEGO, Paperchase, Specsavers and Pizza Hut have all either apologised or pulled ads after pressure from the group’s supporters.

Previously addressing similar criticisms, co-founder Rosey Ellum said their campaigns always drew huge reactions from “tens of thousands of people”.

She also added that they were not against press freedom, explaining: “It has a huge impact and it really does harm people’s lives.

“They only survive because of the advertising – it’s not right that companies demonise their own customer base. We are very pro-freedom of expression and freedom of the press, but it goes hand in hand with consumer freedom too. Customers need to be able to express their concerns.”

Featured Image: Back Boris 2012 / Flickr

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About the Author

Jem Collins

Jem is the Strategic Impact Director for RightsInfo, working on increasing our reach across the UK and measuring our impact. Previously she was the News and Social Media Editor. She is also passionate about helping young people into the media and runs Journo Resources, a start-up which helps young people into the media, as well as serving as a trustee of the Student Publication Association. She is also one of the co-founders of The Second Source, a group to help end harassment in the media. Email Jem View all posts by Jem Collins.
Boris Johnson Claims Stop Funding Hate Attack Press Freedom and Democracy
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