MoD bans ITN following row over coverage

Defence chiefs have banned a broadcaster from "embedding" its reporters with troops in combat zones in a row over its coverage of the medical treatment of troops.

Ministry of Defence sources confirmed that they had suspended co-operation with ITN until it offered a "satisfactory" explanation.

The MoD has written to the news organisation warning that it could take the issue to an industry watchdog, or that there might be legal action over "invasion of privacy" of one wounded soldier.

In the letter, a senior official says: "You should be under no illusions about the level of anger that exists as a result of items you carried on your programmes.

"To be clear: we are not seeking to stop you reporting on Iraq or Afghanistan, speaking to our spokespeople here or in theatre(s) or reporting the news.

"However, until we have satisfactory answers … the MoD feels unable to guarantee that our people will be treated fairly, honestly and their privacy respected.

"Can you give me that reassurance?"

The MoD was responding to reports by ITN for ITV News about the medical treatment of wounded personnel flown back to an NHS hospital in the UK.

ITV News editor-in-chief David Mannion said: "We are in correspondence with the Ministry of Defence seeking clarification as to any restrictions on our travel on official trips."

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