Times credits everyone for PM’s refugee U-turn – except Yvette Cooper!

Archbishop of Canterbury roped in to deny Labour a moral victory


As the right-wing papers’ massive reverse-ferret on refugees continues, the Times has shown that it’s not above spinning the issue along party lines.

‘Cameron opens door to thousands more refugees’ is a plain enough front page headline to please or dismay readers according to their opinions.

But the paper has bizarrely decided to credit everyone for the prime minister’s U-turn except the person who deserves it most – Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper.  

It was she who made a well-covered speech on Tuesday demanding action from the PM and calling failure to help refugees  ‘immoral and cowardly’. Cooper said Britain could take 10,000 refugees if every community welcomed 10 families.

Yet the story says, in line 2:

“Downing Street spent yesterday scrambling to match public outrage and calls, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for Britain to do more to alleviate the human cost of Europe’s gravest postwar migration crisis.”

Since the Archbishop’s remarks were made as late as yesterday, it seems far fetched to say he has ‘led’ the calls for action.

The Times goes on to name-check Tory London mayor Boris Johnson, Tory Scottish leader Ruth Davidson, Tory international development secretary Justine Greening, and Tory education secretary Nicky Morgan.

But no Cooper. 

In fact, no Labour politicians are mentioned at all, despite the refugee issue dominating last night’s leadership debate, televised by Sky News, (which shares a proprietor with the Times in Rupert Murdoch). All four candidates – Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall, Yvetter Cooper and Andy Burnham – called for the UK to take in more refugees.

Cooper and Burnham are mentioned on page 10, (in a story that begins ‘The Archbishop of Canterbury led calls for the prime minister to…’), but in the following manner:

“The debate led to a squabble between Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper, two of the candidates vying to lead Labour.

Asked about Ms Cooper’s call on Tuesday for 10,000 refugees to be allowed into the UK, Mr Burnham told Sky News that he ‘had called the day before for Britain to take its fair share’.”

That’s it for Labour in the story, and it’s half way down the page.

The Times also underplays the speed of the prime minister’s U-turn – saying one thing in the morning and something else in the evening.

Instead of responding to public pressure, led principally by Labour’s Yvette Cooper, the Times paints Cameron as responding to pressure within his own party, then ropes in the latecomer Archbishop for good measure (and moral cover).

This is patently ridiculous.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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Read more: 

Since when did the Tory press care about the lives of refugees?

UK press is spinning Angela Merkel’s remarks about EU border checks

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9 Responses to “Times credits everyone for PM’s refugee U-turn – except Yvette Cooper!”

  1. Selohesra

    To be fair I doubt that anyone outside the Labour party bubble even notice any of the leadership candidates speeches/statements. In the real world Its all been chalked up as a Corbyn win and we have moved on to new things. Yvette is yesterdays polician

  2. HenryV

    All Cooper is done is jump on the band wagon. She and her fellow travellers are using the deaths of innocents for political capital nothing more.

    How many migrants will be living at Chez Cooper-Balls? How many will they be supporting from their own not inconsiderable wealth? None.

    From where will the money come to pay for them all?

  3. V!S4

    Apparently we should ‘credit’ her for putting us on credit, for the debt that her credit-worthy actions will incur on us, those who will have to deal with the day-to-day portions of this mess? A lot of us would take it on board for human reasons, but only at a cost of dealing with this issues once and for all and doing so promptly. I don’t suspect some of that foreign aid money being redirected to help with the migrants crisis, so we will have to pay for it again. Worse, I doubt they have any plan to stop this distaster permanently and so the ‘all credit’ to Cooper will be a gift that keeps on giving in the form of a ‘debt’ we will have to incur to pay for it … Great job! You make us all so very proud!


    I suppose when the Sunni Syrian Jihadists have settled and start on us it will be the Tories to blame.

  5. HenryV

    We all have sympathy for those in suffering. But where do we draw the line? Cooper doesn’t care. She can afford to insulate herself from the consequences of New Labour’s policies. What has she actually done for us to heed anything she says? Ran a successful company? Commanded a military formation? Invented anything? Discovered anything? Written anything of any profundity? No. The only thing she does is use the suffering of others to lever her political career.

  6. Oldermpsplease

    Ah, so we have Yvette to blame for this, do we? I am sure I will sleep more easily at night knowing there are thousands more people in this country who have no right to be here. Not.

  7. HenryV

    Good grief one of my throw away comments on other sites gets more response than this………


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  9. Matthew Blott

    What does that have to do with the main point of this article? That was a a rhetorical question.

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