Sky News has claimed that it is being cut out of coverage of the Conservative election campaign due to its past reporting.
The broadcaster has released a statement today claiming that “since early in the election campaign, Sky News has not been getting live interviews on election issues with Conservative ministers. Also we weren’t initially invited to follow the leader’s tour,” a Sky spokesperson claimed.
The RTS understand that Sky News was offered places on Theresa May’s campaign bus on Tuesday 16th May – four days after it was initially launched. However access to the Prime Minister and her team is still being denied.
The tensions have arisen, the spokesperson explained, “because members of the Prime Minister’s team are unhappy with aspects of our political coverage. Sky News stands by its journalism and is committed to fair, impartial and accurate reporting of all the political parties.”
This is understood to relate to a number of instances of confrontations between the channel and the Prime Minister’s team. On the day that the snap election was called, the Prime Minister announced that she would be making a statement on an unknown topic, Sky News’ Editor-at-Large Adam Boulton speculated on air that the Prime Minister’s health could be the subject matter.
He then received a text message from Fiona Hill, Downing Street chief of staff, saying “You might want to tell Bunter [a nickname for Boulton] that he should watch what he is saying about my boss’s health; utterly unfounded and untrue.”
A second instance is understood to be an exclusive Sky News story by Political Correspondent Beth Rigby about “gaffe-prone” Boris Johnson not playing a major role in the election campaign due to his being considered a liability.
Sky News is understood to have not received an advance copy of the Conservative manifesto, a source claimed, which is unusual in an election campaign.
As part of the RTS’ Inside Sky’s Election Campaign series, the RTS understands that in response, Sky is continuing to ensure that they are at all of the key campaign locations, and are taking their chances by asking questions of the Prime Minister and her team wherever possible.
The RTS have approached the Conservative Party for comment but have not received reply at the time of publication.