Britain’s pro-Brexit newspapers reacted angrily to the High Court’s decision that Theresa May must secure parliamentary approval before invoking Article 50 and withdrawing Britain from the European Union.
However, the tone and wording of some of Friday morning’s front pages has sparked outrage, with the Daily Mail and Daily Express, in particular, coming in for scathing criticism for how they have reported the story.
The Mail, one of Britain’s most popular but divisive newspapers, published a headline reading “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” in reference to the three judges who delivered yesterday’s historic verdict.
The judges, who are among the country’s most experienced and well-respected legal experts, are pictured and accused of defying the will of the 17.4 million Brits who voted to leave the EU.
Journalists, academics, and other Twitter users accused the Mail of publishing dangerous and hateful language, particularly its use “enemies” to describe three men who were simply doing their job by upholding the law.
‘Enemies of the people’. Not a phrase you hear bandied around in a well-functioning democracy. My prescription: just chill a little bit.
— Glen O’Hara (@gsoh31) November 3, 2016
The Express, another one of Britain’s most popular newspapers, is being mocked for its misleading front page.
Firstly, it claims that the High Court judges blocked Brexit. This is false. Britain will leave the EU. What the verdict impacts is the process of withdrawal and potentially how long it will take. Secondly, the opening paragraph suggests the legal ruling is as “grave” as when Britain was at war with Nazi Germany.
This is how people reacted:
So far the most ignorant front page of the night but then it is the Express.
Tempted to complain to Ipso over the Express’ ‘judges block Brexit’ front page. They didn’t block Brexit, they said MPs should have a say.
— Josiah Mortimer (@josiahmortimer) November 4, 2016
There is real concern that aside from reporting the High Court verdict in a distorted way, the way these front pages present the three judges as enemies of British people could lead to their safety being threatened. 2016 has seen an MP murdered on the streets of her constituency, a brick thrown through the officer of another, and one MP being forced to be accompanied by bodyguards at the Labour party’s annual conference.
The Express front page is silly. The Mail front page feels borderline dangerous.
— James Ball (@jamesrbuk) November 3, 2016
It’s been less than six months since a prominent Remain campaigner was murdered. Press need to be much more careful in how they cover this.
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) November 3, 2016
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