Suffolk Council in apparent u-turn over reporter ban

The Ipswich Evening Star has apparently secured a swift u-turn from Suffolk County Councill after a front-page story on Friday revealed that political reporter Paul Geater had been ‘banned’from getting comments from the authority.

Geater, who has been local government reporter for the Star since 1994, wrote a story based on Freedom of Information requests revealing that council chief executive Andrea Hill had coaching sessions with ‘change guru’Sol Davidson which cost £12,000 of public money.

On calling the council press office on a follow-up story, the Star reported that Geater was told the council did not like the tone of his piece and that future questions from him would be met with a ‘no comment”.

The paper put the story on its front-page on Friday, as well as on pages two and three.

Today council head of communications Simon Higgins told Press Gazette: ‘Paul Geater is not banned from entering the council building or receiving a comment on a story. We will deal with his enquiries as appropriate.”

Insiders at the paper said they were ‘baffled’by the behaviour of the council.

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