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Tory MP joins journalists on picket line

Striking journalists in South Yorkshire today won backing from an unlikely source in the form of a Conservative MP.

Tory Andrew Percy joined the picket line outside the former offices of the Goole Courier, which have closed in a round of cost cuts.

Goole and Brigg MP Mr Percy has heavily criticised Johnston Press-owned South Yorkshire Newspapers for the office closure which he called ‘short-sighted.’

He has written to senior management expressing his dismay that the town’s free paper is to be run from offices in Selby.

Said Mr Percy: “In these changing times, local media is more important than ever. Unlike national media, we can rely on regional newspapers to give fair and balanced coverage, but to be able to do this, they need to be rooted in their local communities.

“It’s short-sighted to make reductions at profitable newspapers, which will adversely impact on their ability to respond to, and support, the communities they serve.”

National Union of Journalists’ members across SYN are on indefinite strike at plans to axe 18 jobs across four weekly titles including the Courier, the Selby Times, South Yorkshire Times and Doncaster Free Press.

Johnston Press has so far not responded to Mr Percy’s comments.