Day: 23 June 2020

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Apologies for not filing an update yesterday. Been incredibly busy with Free Speech Union business for the last couple of days. As regular readers will know, we wrote to Ofcom at the beginning of June informing the broadcast watchdog that if it didn't withdraw its coronavirus guidance, which cautions its licensees against broadcasting "statements that seek to question or undermine the advice of public health bodies on the Coronavirus, or otherwise undermine people’s trust in the advice of mainstream sources of information about the disease", we would apply to the High Court to have that guidance struck down. It would be an exaggeration to say it has played a major role in suppressing public debate about the pandemic and the Government's management of it. But it has undoubtedly been a factor. Anyway, Ofcom has dug its heels in so we're pressing ahead. We had to file all the papers by close of play today and, inevitably, it was a last-minute rush. Apart from me, the team consists of two members of the FSU's Legal Advisory Council – Dan Tench and Paul Diamond, both working pro bono – and Peter Ainsworth, the FSU's Case Management Director. We had to challenge the guidance within three months of it being published and since it was published on March 23rd, the same day the Government ...

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