Concerns Raised About Photography Restrictions At Back Of Downing Street

A coalition of organisations representing professional photographers and journalists including the News Media Association has written to the Royal Parks to voice concerns about restrictions to news photography at the back of Downing Street.

In a letter yesterday, the organisations said they were concerned about a clause in the Royal Parks news permits which prevents filming and photography at the back of Number 10 Downing Street from Horse Guards Road or Horse Guards Parade.

The organisations said: “This clause, which has recently been further tightened through updated wording, unnecessarily restricts the legitimate activities of photographers seeking to report in the public interest on hugely significant events happening right at the seat of power in this country.

“We believe this amounts to an unacceptable attack on press freedom.

“In our society, it cannot be right for photographers and journalists, who act as the eyes and ears of the public, to be prevented from taking photographs in a location of such democratic significance, while members of the public are free to do so.”

The organisations called for the permits to be updated with the relevant clause removed in its entirety and offered to meet with the Royal Parks to discuss the issues.

The signatories of the letter are:

  • Owen Meredith, NMA chief executive;
  • Dominic Cooper, Chartered Institute of Journalists chief executive;
  • Matthew Myatt, British Association of Journalists general secretary;
  • Deborah Bonetti, director, The Foreign Press Association in London;
  • Paul Ellis, chair, The British Press Photographers’ Association.

The NMA works to uphold and strengthen press freedom by promoting access for photographers and journalists to major events via its media facilities work including the Royal Rota and press cards services.