NUJ backtracks on claim Downing Street security asked to strip search press photographer - says it happened in another country

The National Union of Journalists has retracted a statement claiming a press photographer was asked to undergo a strip search by Downing Street security in order to attend a photo call.

The union released a statement to the press yesterday claiming a chief photographer for a European agency had been asked to “strip” for a “full body search” at the home of the Prime Minister.

NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said the incident had been “degrading” and “entirely unnecessary” and even claimed that Downing Street had “later admitted” as much.

But, in a correction sent to the press today, the union said this had been “incorrect” and that the incident had in fact taken place in another country.

It said: “Yesterday we published a statement condemning a decision to strip-search media workers at the Prime Minister’s Office in Downing Street. We now accept that this was incorrect.

“The information was provided from a trusted source. However, neither the source nor NUJ staff made the necessary checks before publication. The event in question did not take place in this country. We apologise unreservedly to all concerned.”

Press Gazette had contacted the Met, who handle security for Downing Street, and were told police were struggling to find a record of the incident. A press officer told us that as it was a public highway it was unlikely officers would have requested a strip search.

Downing Street has yet to comment.

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