MSM’s new pile-on against Labour MP grossly unbalanced
The Establishment media have started yet another assault on Labour MP Kate Osamor, after a lengthy campaign of intimidation led to a parliamentary standards investigation whose report has now been published.
The Commons Committee on Standards (CCS) has recommended that Osamor submit a written apology to the House of Commons for using Commons stationery for a personal letter and for an angry outburst at a Murdoch journalist – not ‘ordered’ as the media have claimed.
And the media’s focus on Osamor’s conduct in a confrontation with a smug journalist has left out the fact that the journalist had just been hammering on her front door for a prolonged period, intimidating her family – then hung around for 20 minutes even after Osamor called the police – and that as the CCS report noted:
The police officer’s written notes recorded that the journalist showed no signs of alarm, fear or distress.
The media coverage has also neglected to mention that:
- the CCS considered Osamor’s use of Commons letterhead to write a letter to a court on behalf of her son to be a ‘mild’ breach – and only arrived at even that small censure after noting that “modest use” of MP’s letterhead for personal purposes is allowed under the rules
- the CCS noted that Osamor’s letter was “clearly in a personal capacity and does not pretend to any parliamentary authority” and that “there was also nothing inherently wrong in Ms Osamor stating that she is a Member of Parliament“
- the CCS considered that “it is clear from the contents of Ms Osamor’s letter that she was not seeking to interfere in an improper way with the course of justice“
- Osamor had suffered anxiety and sleeplessness for months because of the media harassment and didn’t even dare visit a doctor in case the media turned that into further abuse
- Osamor had immediately accepted that she broke the stationery rules and apologised
- that Osamor had snapped at the Murdoch hack “in the heat of the moment” “after a month of… media harassment of myself and my family and neighbours“. This “targetted, invasive and potentially dangerous” campaign included “a series of incidents” involving persistent doorstepping of her 80-year-old mother and ‘journalists’ hiding in bushes to spy on Osamor and her family
- the right-wing press had published pictures of Osamor’s home, putting her and her family at risk – which the Commissioner for Standards said made her “mindful that Members have, in recent years, very regrettably, been subjected to harassment and, in some cases, violent attack“
- the Mail and S*n, according to a judge, had tried to obtain Osamor’s letter on behalf of her son without following the usual procedure of contacting her or her son first
- the CCS considered at least some of the coverage of Osamor’s and her son’s cases as inaccurate and unfair
- the CCS agreed “that what she said was a hot-blooded reaction to a difficult personal situation, and should be judged in that light“
- that police had provided extra security for Osamor’s staff since an incident involving a threatening visitor to her constituency office – but Parliament had not offered Osamor any additional support except a generic helpline number
The UK may be in the grip of a crisis threatening hundreds of thousands of lives under a dithering and misleading prime minister – but the UK’s media will always find time to ignore a litany of facts for a pile-on against a Labour MP on the left of the party.
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