Sky News has suggested its access to Theresa May and her ministers on the election campaign trail is being restricted because the Tories are “unhappy” with its coverage.
The mainstream news broadcaster said it had not been getting live interviews on election issues with Tory ministers and was initially not invited to join the Prime Minister’s campaign tour.
The broadcaster believes the lack of co-operation from Mrs May’s team follows a series of clashes over its coverage in recent weeks.
A Sky spokeswoman said: “Since early in the election campaign, Sky News has not been getting live interviews on election issues with Conservative ministers.
“Also, we weren’t initially invited to follow the leader’s tour. We understand this to be because members of the Prime Minister’s team are unhappy with aspects of our political coverage.
“Sky News stands by its journalism and is committed to fair, impartial and accurate reporting of all the political parties.”
Sky was offered places on the PM’s campaign bus on Tuesday this week – four days after it was launched – but sources said access to her and her team was still being denied.
Signs of tension between the broadcaster and Number 10 were apparent on the day Mrs May called the snap election amid speculation about the subject of the surprise statement the Prime Minister was due to make.
Adam Boulton, Sky News’ editor at large, discussed the possibility that the imminent announcement could be related to Mrs May’s health – and then read out a slap down received from the Prime Minister’s joint chief of staff Fiona Hill saying: “You might want to tell Bunter that he should watch what he is saying about my boss’s health, utterly unfounded and untrue.”
A story by senior political correspondent Beth Rigby suggesting that Boris Johnson was being blocked from playing a central role in the campaign is also believed by the broadcaster to have contributed to the rift.