Kate Hoey: PSNI’s legal appeal would curtail freedom of all UK journalists

Labour MP Kate Hoey has asked the PSNI Chief Constable to drop his appeal against Jamie Bryson
Labour MP Kate Hoey has asked the PSNI Chief Constable to drop his appeal against Jamie Bryson
Share this article

Labour MP Kate Hoey has challenged the PSNI Chief Constable to call off a legal action involving Jamie Bryson, saying it would “severely curtail” legal protections to all journalists across the UK.

The courts previously found the PSNI failed to get a special warrant to seize journalistic material from Mr Bryson as part of a probe into the supply of door supervisors.

Ms Hoey challenged Simon Byrne to drop a PSNI appeal to the Supreme Court against the finding, adding that police seized a wide range of journalistic material from Mr Bryson. She was “deeply concerned” at the PSNI engaging in “prejudicial commentary” in relation to his arrest over a “relatively minor matter”; that police failed to ask him any questions on criminality during interview and that when Mr Bryson asked for the legal basis of his detention, a police officer said “turn the tape off”.  

The MP noted the PSNI has submitted that the case will have “an operational impact on all police forces and bodies with investigative powers throughout the UK”.

So she urged Mr Byrne to reconsider the “ill-conceived appeal which will clearly create the perception that the police are trying to curtail press freedom”. Police said it would be in appropriate to comment on live legal proceedings.