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Press briefing ban after spat over story

Police in Selby, North Yorkshire, have banned Selby Post reporter Andy Germaine from its daily press briefings.

The move follows the reporter’s front page expose of a Government-licensed cannabis factory in Cawood village, four miles from Selby.

He said: “After the story appeared I received a phone call from the press liaison officer, George Beattie, at Selby police station saying that I had ‘cut out some work for them’ and as a result I was told that I was not allowed to go to their press briefings anymore. They are being absolutely pathetic.

“I notified the cannabis factory’s manager that we were going to publicly identify his business 24 hours before we went to press. He made no attempt to gag us in any way.

“There was genuine public interest in the story as there are houses surrounding the cannabis greenhouse.”

Liaison officer PC George Beattie said it was not the story he had taken exception to, but a remark that Andy made before the story appeared.

He said: “This particular reporter made a remark to me to the effect that ‘you lot are really going to have your work cut out’ once the centre’s location was made public.

“It was a personal decision made by me that he should get his updates centrally at York rather than from this police station.”

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