Prime Minister in waiting supports press freedom

Gordon Brown has assured journalists of his commitment to freedom of the press.

Speaking to an audience of senior management figures at the annual Journalists’ Charity lunch, Brown said: “It’s easy for politicians to say one thing and do another – but I do think we should defend British liberties and that we can be a beacon for the world with the contribution our press makes.”

Brown is still a card-carrying member of the NUJ from his time working for Scottish Television in the early 1980s.

Lunchers heard that work is now nearly completed on a new care home for journalists in Dorking called Pickering House.

News International, Associated Newspapers/Harmsworth Trust and Telegraph Media Group have jointly contributed £850,000 towards the estimated £6 million cost of the new home.

The Journalists’ Charity is hopeful that all the other major employers of journalists will soon come forward with big donations.

Press Gazette understands that one major newspaper group yet to make a donation is Express Newspapers.

This is despite the fact that the Journalists’ Charity estimates it has spent around £60,000 looking after former Express staff in the past five or six years.

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