The Express edition of March 4th might have been more appropriately labelled “Lib Dem Election Special”.
You managed to include no lesss than nine photos of the town’s MP, Gordon Birtwistle, linking him with a number of business success stories, most notably a cyber training enterprise to be established in nearby Pendle.
Your quotes from visiting Lib Dem minister Vince Cable about what you choose to describe as Burnley’s “booming economy” make clear the intention of your coverage. Covert, but absolutely unmistakeable, your message is “make sure our marvellous MP is re-elected next year”.
The most obvious giveaway of your intentions was a main photo of Messrs Cable, Birtwistle and Lib Dem Coun. Charlie Briggs by the placque recording the opening of Burnley Bridge Business Park.
I have never met Coun. Briggs but feel absolutely confident he has made little if any contribution to the recent modest improvements in Burnley’s economy. The same is abundantly true, in spades pressed down and running over, of Gordon Birtwistle.
In contrast to your complicity in shallow Lib Dem triumphalism, your extensive coverage did not contain a single quote from Julie Cooper, Labour leader of Burnley Council.
I am writing this letter as I think it is important Express readers should be aware of what is, in my opinion, the pro-Birtwistle bias in your newspaper.
Barnfield Avenue, Burnley
The Express prides itself on its non-political stance and has always endeavoured to play a straight bat when it comes to coverage of events. To suggest the Express openly favours Mr Birtwistle is, quite frankly, poppycock. Mr Cable was in Burnley in his role as Business Secretary and our coverage was designed to highlight the excellent economic strides the town is making. EDITOR