The Times newspaper has alleged that Kate Osamor, the Shadow Secretary for International Development, has threatened one of their journalists with physical violence. Osamor threw water over the journalist, who was attempting to ask the shadow Minister about her son who has pleaded guilty to serious drugs offences. The Times also alleged that the Shadow Minister said that she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in” to the journalist.
Osamor left the Labour front bench after the allegations were made, with the Shadow Minister refusing to deny the Times article.
Michelle Stanistreet, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said in a statement:
“Journalists, like any other workers, need to be able to go about their work without fear of threats or assault. It’s completely unacceptable to respond to legitimate press queries, however unwelcome they may be, with physical or verbal abuse.
There is a disturbing and febrile international climate at the moment that is facilitating and legitimising the notion that it is open season on journalists – such insidious and dangerous beliefs, particularly when they emanate from public figures in positions of authority, have to be challenged at every turn.”