Even the boss of the Police Federation is slating the government’s coronavirus communications

The Canary

The chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales has criticised the “briefing” of a potential lockdown to the media, claiming it had increased pressure on the emergency services.

John Apter, head of the organisation which represents more than 120,000 rank-and-file officers, called for “clear communication” on coronavirus measures.

He tweeted on Saturday morning: “To those briefing selective media on a potential national lockdown please understand the impact this has. It creates a media frenzy, causes confusion and ahead of any official announcement encourages some to make the most of their pre-lockdown time. This is not a good mix!”

He added: “This can add immense pressure to the 999 services who are already struggling with the demand they have. Please be more responsible. Clear communication, not corridor briefings.”

It is not the first time communications have been criticised over the pandemic.

In September, the speaker of the House of Commons accused Health Secretary Matt Hancock of “running this chamber ragged” by not giving Parliament details of changes in restrictions before the media.

Lindsay Hoyle told MPs: “I accept that decisions have been taken in a fast-moving situation, but timings for statements are known to ministers.”

Describing details of the rule of six as “all over Twitter” the speaker said: “I think the total disregard for this chamber is not acceptable.

“It’s really not good enough for the Government to make decisions of this kind in a way which shows insufficient regard for the importance of major policy announcements being made first to this house and to MPs wherever possible.”

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Fast, and furious confusion I thought describes the effiency of this Government in their own minds.
      What action!! Media Suspense. Its a thriller of incompetence. But this is what the media dines on, isn’t it? No content just buzz.

    2. What’s new they’ve been doing the same thing for at least a decade. MSM represent the new thought police, pilloring the ‘unacceptable’, rumour mongering, and generally acting as an internal security department for the state elite. Whatever happened to the ‘free press’ or at least the free-thinking press? With Assange in prison I imagine they’re simply scared shitless.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.