November 26, 2020

UK: RSF welcomes Damian Collins as new chair of the APPG on media freedom

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the election of Damian Collins MP as the new Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on media freedom. Collins takes over after inaugural group Chair John Whittingdale OBE MP stepped down due to his appointment earlier this year as Minister of State for Media and Data.

Following the launch of the APPG on media freedom in July 2019, Collins joins a cross-party group of parliamentarians from both the House of Lords and House of Commons who have committed to working together to address global and domestic media freedom challenges:

I’m honoured to be taking over as Chair from John, a renowned champion of the freedom of the press. Strong, independent and researched journalism is more important than ever, and the UK has a duty to defend journalists threatened for doing their job – at home and abroad”, said Damian Collins MP.

Other APPG officers include Sir Roger Gale MP, Theo Clarke MP, Christian Matheson MP, Lord Black of Brentwood and Lord Foulkes of Cumnock. The APPG membership includes representatives from several parliamentary parties. 

“We warmly welcome Mr Collins’ election as the new chair of the APPG on media freedom, and look forward to working together as he brings his considerable experience and clear voice to the role. There has never been a more urgent need for strong parliamentary leadership to address the deteriorating global climate for media freedom, including some very worrying trends here in the UK”, said RSF Director of International Campaigns Rebecca Vincent. 

RSF worked closely with Whittingdale to launch the APPG and looks forward to collaborating with Colllins and continuing to run the APPG secretariat.