Excerpt:

A plan by the home secretary to introduce counter-extremism powers to vet British broadcasters' programmes before they are transmitted has been attacked in the bluntest terms as a threat to freedom of speech by one of her own Conservative cabinet colleagues, the Guardian has learned.

Sajid Javid wrote to David Cameron to say that, as culture secretary, he was unable to support Theresa May's proposal to give Ofcom the new powers to take pre-emptive action against programmes that included "extremist content", in a letter sent just before the start of the general election campaign.

Javid, who moved from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to become business secretary after the election, said the plan would move Ofcom from a regulator "into the role of a censor". It would involve "a fundamental shift in the way UK broadcasting is regulated", moving away from the current framework of post-transmission regulation which takes account of freedom of expression, he said.


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