Andrew Gwynne: He had a grilling from Andrew Marr on Sunday (February 11).

There’s a lot of animosity against the mainstream media over their treatment of anybody who isn’t a Tory at the moment.

It came to a head on Sunday, after Andrew Marr grilled Labour’s Andrew Gwynne and then, after giving Penny Mordaunt (Conservative) a respectful hearing told her, sotto voce, “That was very good”.

Every week – sometimes every day – opposition politicians are subjected to humiliating attempts at “gotcha” journalism, with presenters and reporters including Mr Marr, Robert Peston, Andrew Neil, Jo Coburn and a host of others trying to either catch them out in a contradiction or make it seem they don’t know their subject. I include all opposition parties in that, not just Labour.

Unless the matter is a national scandal, it seems Tories get an easy ride every time. The current story about Oxfam is a classic example. Tories are pontificating for all they’re worth about the immorality of the allegations – and nobody is challenging them about their own behaviour, as exposed via the “sex spreadsheet” and other revelations late last year. They are not qualified to take a “holier than thou” attitude, but they aren’t being challenged about it.

It occurs to This Writer that, if opposition politicians are getting short shrift on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News and the other mainstream channels, perhaps they – and we – should migrate to the social media.

Perhaps Evolve Politics, Novara Media or any of the many other London-based non-Tory social media organisations would like to take up the slack and broadcast interviews that give opposition politicians a fair hearing.

But would you – the public – visit their sites to get that kind of balanced reporting?


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