Carroll accused of interfereing with press freedom

Contributed by editor on Nov 01, 2004 - 06:17 PM

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<FONT face=Arial>Liberal Democrat Peter Carroll was accused this week of interfering with the freedom of the local press.

<FONT face=Arial>The charge comes after an advertisement reported to have cost nearly £4,000 o­n a four page cover to the local Adscene free newspaper appeared last week in the free newspaper.

<FONT face=Arial>Local tories claim in a press release that this was inserted just before the paper went to press without it being checked. As a result the material appeared with no clear indication that it was a paid for advertisement and looked as though it was the paper’s own editorial policy.

<FONT face=Arial>Jonathan Holborow, Chairman of the local Conservatives, said; “This was a sly and under-hand piece of political chicanery. There has to be a trust between local journalists who represent local people and local politicians. I cannot believe Mr Carroll would have stooped so low as to interfere like this with local newspapers and not explain that his insertion was an advertisement.�

<FONT face=Arial>It is understood that Kent Regional Newspapers, owners of Adscene, are publishing a front page apology to their readers this week because of Mr Carroll’s ill considered action.