Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday evening, attended the Abbott Award presentation by Mr Speaker. I'm one of the judges for the award, which is presented to a journalist who has upheld the principle of freedom of expression in a dangerous environment. This year the award was to have been given to a Somali journalist, the BBC correspondent in Mogadishu, but he was refused a visa by the UKBA. The reason I was told, at second hand, was that he hadn't submitted payslips showing his earnings from the BBC with his application for a visa. We must establish an agreed protocol for ensuring that in future years problems over visas for the Abbott award winners don't prevent them attending at the last moment.