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Wednesday / 2 May / 2018

The Irish Embassy Reception: The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP | By Milly Vincent

It was a full house at the Irish Embassy Monday evening (30.04.18) as journalists and politicians gathered to support the work of the Journalists’ Charity at this year’s reception, kindly hosted by The Ambassador of Ireland Mr. Adrian O’Neil.

Guest speaker The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Secretary of State for Defence payed tribute to the ten journalists who were killed in a co-ordinated double suicide bombing in Afghanistan earlier that day calling it “a stark reminder of the dangers journalists put themselves in so that the rest of us are better informed”.

Addressing the journalists in the room Williamson said: “All of you are extraordinary people doing an extraordinary job very much like our armed forces. You play a vital role in upholding our most precious of values; freedom of speech. It is the free press’ ability to criticise, to hold to account and to mock those who are in power which is the mainstay of our democracies. Journalists in Britain and around the world play a pivotal role in upholding and defending democracy acting as a bulwark against oppression.”

Ending his speech on a lighter note Williamson joked that “Indeed I must confess rather than speaking to my cabinet colleagues I often find it’s so much easier just to read in the newspapers what happens at cabinet. I often find it seems to have been reported in a Spectator article before the actual minutes have been circulated.”

Our chairman Jill Palmer would like to thank the Ambassador of Ireland Mr. Adrian O’Neil for the generous hospitality in providing one of the most anticipated nights of the Journalists’ Charity calendar and to all who attended and donated in support.

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Nick Robinson
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Richard Littlejohn
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Anna Botting
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Huw Edwards
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Faisal Islam
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Alastair Campbell

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