The police decision to complain to Ofcom about a controversial Channel 4 documentary raises “serious questions about media freedom”, the Tories said yesterday.
West Midlands Police claimed that the broadcaster spliced together extracts from speeches by Islamic preachers to distort their view for the documentary Undercover Mosque.
Paul Goodman, the shadow community cohesion minister, has written to Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, saying the decision caused “widespread concern” and warned that it could encourage extremists.
Mr Goodman wrote: “This decision raises serious questions about media freedom in Britain, and about whether public authorities tasked with upholding the rule of law are now, as a matter of policy, giving special assistance to those who seek to undermine the rule of law, and the pluralist, liberal, democratic culture which both underpins it and guarantees community cohesion.
“As you know, the decision has caused widespread concern.
“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a politically motivated referral, driven by the mistaken belief that the best means of dealing with separatist extremists is to appease them.
“If so, this referral is likely to encourage extremists, discourage moderates, damage public confidence in the CPS and West Midlands Police, compromise media freedom and undermine the Government’s stated community cohesion policy.”