The May 4 edition of the Derbyshire Times was published with a four-page advert for the Tory Party, dressed up as the paper’s front and back pages. Can I ask: Who paid for it?
Which of the newspaper’s accounts was the fee paid into?
Do the proprietors of the DT have a political preference?
Would other political parties so be able to use the paper to publish their views in the same way?
Editor’s footnote — The Derbyshire Times does not support any political party, regardless of whether they advertise in our pages or not. All legitimate political parties may advertise - and a number are planning to do so in the run-up to the election.
But there is a clear distinction between paid advertisements from third parties and the editorial independence of the newspaper and its journalism. Advertising is vital to keep papers like this going - it pays for the professional journalists who help to hold politicans - of any and every party - to account.