Former Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has hinted he declined an invitation to come on Channel 4 News because the show’s veteran host, Jon Snow, is not “impartial.”
“Text from @Channel4News asking if I’d go on tonight. Text back from me declining, explaining I couldn’t be sure about interview impartiality,” Shapps tweeted Thursday.
Text from @Channel4News asking if I’d go on tonight. Text back from me declining, explaining I couldn’t be sure about interview impartiality
— Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) 29 June 2017
Twitter went into meltdown on Monday, when Liverpool student Danny Millea shared a picture of the presenter posing with a group of young revelers at Glastonbury Festival. The caption read: “Having a dance with Jon Snow and hearing him shout f*** the tories is what dreams are made of.”
Snow, 69, said he “couldn’t be sure” and had “no recollection” of ever chanting the expletives.
Millea said Snow had “bounced over and had a little dance.”
“He was proper sound, had a good little boogie with him and a good laugh, walked off and he sarcastically said he’s a neutral hahahah,” the student added.
The tweet has since been deleted.
While on screen, broadcasters are expected to be publicly neutral about their political leanings.
Media watchdog Ofcom has said they can only investigate complaints about content broadcasted or published.
Channel 4 has not commented on the incident.
Tories v C4 News
But the Tories could have more than Jon Snow’s festival antics to feel bitter about.
Last week, C4 News aired an undercover investigation about a call center allegedly contracted by the Conservative Party, where potential data protection and election law offences might have taken place.
An undercover reporter filmed the operations at Blue Telecoms, a call center in Neath, South Wales, where a former Tory council candidate, Sasha Lopez, worked as manager.
Telephone operators were at different occasions asked to say they were independent callers and other times told to openly canvass for Tory candidates. Political parties are forbidden by election law to pay their canvassers.
According to Electoral Commission rules: “During the campaign, you must not … pay canvassers. Canvassing means trying to persuade an elector to vote for or against a particular candidate or party.”