Labour frontrunner Starmer calls for action to ‘diversify’ the press

Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer has signalled he would take action to "diversify" the press if he won the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

Following the death of TV presenter Caroline Flack, who took her own life, Sir Keir said the wider media had been responsible for "amplifying" the messages coming from social media.

Speaking at the latest leadership hustings in London, he condemned the constant "vilification" of Labour politicians in the press.

He said that both the traditional media and social media companies needed to take responsibility for the human impact of their actions.

"I think it shocked a lot of people yesterday," he said in reference to Flack's death.

"It wasn't just social media, it was the media amplifying what social media was doing. It was both strands. There is a human impact."

He added: "The press more widely have to take responsibility as well. Not just for the hatred and abuse but for the vilification constantly of Labour MPs and Labour leaders.

"We have got to do something to diversify our press, to have a better media."

40 PHOTOS
Caroline Flack dies
See Gallery
Caroline Flack dies
Caroline Flack's death prompts hair and beauty salons to boycott gossip magazines
Rugby star Danny Cipriani, Caroline Flack's ex-boyfriend, reveals he was suicidal in his 20s and tried to buy a gun
Floral tributes placed outside Caroline Flack's former home in North London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police van parked outside the building believed to be where Caroline Flack lived in Clapton, London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Floral tributes placed outside Caroline Flack's former home in North London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Floral tributes placed outside Caroline Flack's former home in North London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Floral tribute placed outside the building believed to be where Caroline Flack lived in Clapton, London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Caroline Flack attends the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London 90th Anniversary at Grosvenor House on April 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/04/30: Caroline Flack at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House - 90th anniversary party at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, Park Lane. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Caroline Flack’s boyfriend Lewis Burton speaks out after her death: My heart is broken
Caroline Flack death: Laura Whitmore, Olly Murs and Strictly stars among those to pay tribute
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Love Island's Laura Whitmore pays tribute to Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Love Island presenter Caroline Flack leaves Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23, 2019 in London, England. The Love Island host attended court after being charged with assault by beating following an argument with boyfriend Lewis Burton. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Love Island presenter Caroline Flack appears at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on December 23, 2019 in London, England. The Love Island host is due in court after being charged with assault by beating following an argument with boyfriend Lewis Burton. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Caroline Flack attends The Beauty Awards 2019 on November 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Caroline Flack (L) and Josie Naughton attend the launch of the annual 'Choose Love' shop for Help Refugees on November 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Caroline Flack attends The Beauty Awards 2019 on November 25, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 20 2019: Caroline Flack attends the Winter Wonderland VIP launch night at Hyde Park in London.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Keith Mayhew / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Keith Mayhew / Echoes Wire / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Caroline Flack attends the ITV Palooza 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on November 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Caroline Flack attends the ITV Palooza 2019 at the Royal Festival Hall on November 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/10/17: Caroline Flack attends the Global Gift Gala at Kimpton Fitzroy in London. (Photo by Brett Cove/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Caroline Flack’s Management Blast CPS For Pursuing A ‘Show Trial’ For ‘Vulnerable’ Love Island Presenter
Danny Cipriani speaks out after death of ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Fellow leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey condemned the way the press had treated the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"We know the impact certain elements of the media have on people in public life," she said.

"Harry and Meghan have moved out of the country because of the way they have been treated by the media. It is not acceptable."

She said that Labour should press the social media companies to take a "hard-line approach" to dealing with online abuse.

"We have got to recognise the impact that that has on individuals. It is more so on individuals in public life," she said.

However Lisa Nandy, the third candidate left in the contest, said social media companies could not be left to police themselves, suggesting the current situation was like "the Wild West".

"I worry about the approaches that say we allow the social media companies to regulate themselves," she said.

"In no other area of life would we allow private companies to police themselves. We ought to make sure the state has a system of regulation and support around that.

"The challenge isn't how you shut it down, the challenge is how you make sure that that technology is used as a force for social good and not as a force for social evil."

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS