Ms Badenoch took to Twitter to criticise Nadine White, after the journalist approached the minister for a statement about why she wasn’t featured in a recent video campaign featuring black cross-party MPs encouraging vaccine take-up across black communities in the UK.
Vaccines work, are safe and will save lives.
Please share this message from Black British MPs.pic.twitter.com/NLi8EbL8GV
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) January 28, 2021
The video included Conservative James Cleverly and Labour’s Diane Abbott among others who urged communities to get the vaccine. It came after a study suggested that black people over 80 are half as likely to get the vaccine.
Following Ms White’s emails sent to Ms Badenoch, the minister tweeted to her 38,000 followers: “A sad insight into how some journalists operate…On Wednesday, I shared our positive, well-received cross-party video to increase vaccine confidence in the midst of so much disinformation. Last night we heard great news about the Novavax Vaccine which I’ve been trialling.”
“Today, an unfortunate reminder of why there is so much confusion and mistrust. Was in meetings all day yesterday and been made aware of 2 emails received from @HuffPost journalist, Nadine White,” she tweeted.
The minister posted two images of emails from Ms White where the journalist requested a statement as to why she did not appear in the video, writing: “I understand that Ms Badenoch, as equalities minister, refused to participate in the video. May I have a statement detailing the reason/s why please?”
Ms Badenoch claimed that “disinformation is on the rise”, adding that HuffPost “are looking to sow distrust by making up claims I refused to take part in a video campaign…(which I suggested and promoted!)”
The Equalities minister added that she did not appear in the video as she was taking part and promoting vaccine trials.
She concluded her tweets by saying it is “creepy and bizarre to fixate on who didn’t participate in a video and demand they explain themselves.”
Ms White has made her Twitter account private following Mrs Badenoch’s Twitter thread.
HuffPost editor-in-chief came Jess Brammar defended the journalist, tweeting: “One of my reporters has had to make her Twitter profile private today because a *government minister* tweeted out screenshots of a completely standard request for comment on a story, and accused her of spreading disinformation. Absolutely extraordinary.”
“Young, female, Black journalists receive some of the worst abuse on Twitter, and to behave in this way is extremely disappointing – even before you consider that the person involved is the minister for equalities. We stand by Nadine for doing her job correctly, as she always does.”
BBC’s Home Affairs Correspondent Danie Sandford added that Ms White’s emails look like a “professional journalist doing their job and checking the facts on a potential story about a government minister.”