The Ministry of Defence has been accused of ordering a “truth blackout” over the war in Afghanistan amid warnings it is attempting to “bury bad news” during the election campaign.
British journalists and TV crews are to be banned from the Afghan front line once a date for the election has been set, while senior officers will be prohibited from making public speeches and talking to reporters.
MoD websites will also be “cleansed” of any “non-factual” material including anything containing troops’ opinions of the war, according to a memo leaked to The Daily Telegraph.
The edict comes as Gordon Brown was accused of using British troops as “political props” by visiting Afghanistan the day after giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq War.
The war in Afghanistan is likely to be a sensitive political issue in the election campaign.
Last night the MoD confirmed a British soldier, from A Company 4 Rifles, was killed in a fire-fight yesterday bringing the total deaths since the conflict began to 271.
The Prime Minister has been repeatedly accused by former military chiefs of denying soldiers vital equipment.
In the memo, Nick Gurr, the MoD’s director of media and communications, says “embeds” for all British news broadcasters and national journalists will be prohibited during the campaign, expected to begin later this month.