The Free Speech Union has launched a petition calling on Parliament to remove Trevor Mallard as Speaker of the House following his unacceptable interferences with press freedom during the Convoy 2022 protest. (Link to the petition: www.mallardmustgo.nz)
“Trevor Mallard’s conduct during the protest has degraded the office he occupies. His instruction to journalists not to engage with protestors shows a disdain for fundamental democratic principles,” says Free Speech Union spokesperson, Jonathan Ayling.
“The Press Gallery literally exists to report on parliamentary news and events. Dictating to them how they may report on a story is an unacceptable restriction on press freedom which has a critical role in our democracy, now more than ever. Freedom of the press is founded on free speech, and it protects our basic liberties by giving us access to credible information.”
“It was especially alarming to hear the Speaker made the Press Gallery Chair relay to Barry Soper that there would be ‘consequences’ if he continued to ignore his instruction – that is to say, if he continued to do his job as a member of the free and independent media.”
“Similar comments by a Minister at another time would rightly result in the Prime Minister demanding their resignation. The Speaker’s disdain for democracy is palpable. Only his removal can restore dignity to his office.”