Visits Abroad: Rwanda

Home Office written question – answered at on 4 April 2023.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government whether journalists from The Guardian were invited to accompany the Home Secretary on her recent visit to Rwanda with journalists from other UK newspapers; if not, why not; and, further to the Home Office spokesperson’s comments reported in the Press Gazette on 25 April 2022 that the Home Office “fully adheres to the Government Communication Service Propriety Guidance when dealing with members of the media”, whether the decision on whether to invite Guardian journalists took account of the Government Communication Service Propriety Guidance which states that to "work effectively, media officers must establish their impartiality and neutrality with the news media, and ensure that they deal with all news media evenhandedly”.

Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government how the list of news organisations that attended to report on the Home Secretary’s visit to Rwanda was drawn up; and at what stage that list was considered against the Government Communications Service Propriety Guidance on the need for media officers to "establish their impartiality and neutrality with the news media", by dealing "with all news media evenhandedly."

Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government what advice the (1) Home Secretary, and (2) Permanent Secretary of the Government Communications Service, received concerning the exclusion of news organisations who may not support Government policy from attending the Home Secretary’s recent trip to Rwanda; and in particular whether they considered the Government Communications Service Propriety Guidance requiring media officers to "establish their impartiality and neutrality with the news media", by dealing "with all news media evenhandedly.

Photo of Lord Murray of Blidworth Lord Murray of Blidworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Media outlets who accompanied the Home Secretary’s visit to Kigali on March 18 – 19 were BBC News, The Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, GB News, Press Association, The Sun, The Times. There were also numerous outlets in the region who covered the visit.

Even-handed treatment of the media in accordance with the Government Communications Service guidelines is central to how the Civil Service communicates. Due consideration of the GCS guidelines is undertaken in Home Office communications.

All news organisations were kept informed of the progress of the visit regardless of whether they attended or not.

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