Press barred from Grillo Oxford Union address

(La Repubblica)

OXFORD – The world’s press has been barred from covering co-founder of the Five Star Movement Beppe Grillo’s address to the prestigious Oxford Union on Monday, La Repubblica reports.

 “After discussions with Mr. Grillo’s team and our logistics department, we are unfortunately unable to provide media accreditation for this event,” a statement from the Union reads.

 The move has drawn serious criticism, particularly from Italian reporters, given the perception of the Union as a “bastion of liberalism.”

 However, La Repubblica contends that the decision does not match the “policy of the English association,” but rather it was most likely forced by members of Grillo’s team, who were informed about requests for media passes by Italian journalists in advance.

 M5S has been known to be hostile towards the Italian media, and this latest snub seems to be a continuation of that.

 Grillo is one of the few Italians to have been invited to speak at the prestigious organisation in recent years and follows in the footsteps of fellow populist Steve Bannon, former confidante and campaign manager of Donald Trump, whose appearance in Oxford at the end of 2018 sparked protests among groups of the student community.