Why did CDC want to censor Private Eye journalist?

Private Eye journalist Richard Brooks is claiming he’s been the victim of attempts at censorship by CDC (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation).

Brooks has written several articles for the Eye criticising CDC’s involvement in private equity funds. He had hoped to attend the launch of the CDC’s 2009 Development Review Launch on 16 June. He was told that the launch was a private event and the CDC had no obligation to admit him, a stance Brooks saw as contrary to “the new government’s commitment to transparency in development funding”.

After a lengthy email exchange, Brooks eventually got the message that CDC definitely didn’t want him there, so decided to print his own leaflet of his work on CDC and hand them out outside the event. Brook’s work on the privatisation of part of CDC won a Paul Foot Award in 2008.

So off Brooks went to last night’s launch. An angry confrontation with CDC staff ensued, before Brooks’s knight in shining armour arrived — no less than Sir Bob Geldof, who described Brooks’s exclusion as “outrageous”.

So after all this, Brooks got to attend the launch, listen to some speeches and go home. Rather a lot of fuss, eh?