Coronavirus: Hampstead and Kilburn MP backs local newspapers during outbreak

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA - Credit: PA

With the government introducing measures in the effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Tulip Siddiq has spoken out on the importance of local newspapers to “bring communities together”.

The News Media Association is calling for planned government advertising in newspapers and assurances that there will be provision to allow for the production and delivery of newspapers from the print plant to the front door.

Tulip Siddiq has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, making the case for local newspapers and asking for clarity about deliveries.

She said: “Local papers like the Ham&High and the Brent & Kilburn Times are the lifeblood of our communities.

“As we face long periods of social isolation to tackle coronavirus, local papers have the power to bring our communities together. It is through local papers that we will keep abreast of what is happening in our nearby hospitals. And local journalists will be the ones holding our councils to account for the support they must now deliver to the individuals and businesses who will suffer.

“We are lucky to have such a strong local press in Hampstead and Kilburn, but we will only have it as long as we are prepared to fight for it. I will always stand up for our local papers and do everything I can to support them through this crisis.”

The World Health Organisation has said reading newspapers carries no real risk of catching the Covid-19 virus.

It said in a statement: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperate is also low.”