Norman Smith, a reporter for BBC News, was told that his crew could not film a protest against proposed disability cuts by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron's administration on March 23 (video below).
“There's been a protest by a number of disability protesters here inside Central Lobby ... because of their anger,” Smith said during a live report before he was interrupted by an unidentified Parliamentary official, notes The Independent.
“You’re going to have to stop," the official told Smith. "You’re going to have to stop. You can’t film with this going on in the background."
Smith asked why and the official replied, “Because it’s part of the rules and conditions of you using this area and you’re not allow to film this."
Smith's live report ended, and the BBC News cut to a news anchor.
Protesters from disability advocacy groups shouted “Cameron killer” inside the lobby near the House of Commons during the Prime Minister's Questions, which is when the prime minister takes questions every Wednesday.
The Guardian reports that some protesters held a banner that said: “Is this really how to treat disabled people?” and shouted at government representatives who passed by.
A spokesperson for the House of Commons said: “Broadcasting in central lobby must be in the context of an interview with a member or an introduction or commentary on specific business in the House that day. These conditions were not being complied with, so the broadcasters were asked to suspend temporarily.”
The head of security told journalists not to photograph the protest or publish such pictures, however, Labor shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Green MP Caroline Lucas both posted their pictures of the protesters.
Lucas posed with protesters and tweeted pictures with the caption: “Congrats to disability campaigners for protest currently taking place in central lobby – their voices must be heard."
Cameron told lawmakers that his government had reversed on the cuts, but added, “I believe that, after seven or eight years of economic growth, it is right to be targeting a surplus because a responsible government puts aside money for a rainy day."
“I don’t want to be part of a government that doesn’t have the courage to pay off our debts and leave them instead to our children and grandchildren and that is the truth," Cameron added.