Why are the Government funding fake news site The Canary?

Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service are advertising to recruit prison officers on the controversial website.

The Canary is a click-bait news site, known for publishing fake news and misleading stories such as:

BBC Political Editor Laura Kussenburg was speaking at Conservative Party Conference (she wasn’t).

A junior doctor who committed suicide left a message to Jeremy Hunt in their suicide note (breaking the Samaritans regulations on reporting suicides).

The resignations of Labour MPs following the EU referendum in 2016 was coordinated by Portland Communications (which led to an employee of the firm being told in an anonymous letter ‘prepare to be coxed’, referring to the MP Jo Cox who was murdered a month previously).

An attack on the UK media for not reporting a march of 20 million muslims against ISIS (it was a pilgrimage and nothing to do with ISIS).

Given the content, it is somewhat surprising that Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service are advertising to recruit prison officers on The Canary website. The advert even appears on a page headlined, ‘Damning New Evidence Shows That Tory Prison Reform Is A Scam.’

The government agency is run by the Ministry of Justice, currently headed by Conservative Justice Secretary, David Gauke.

The Canary’s business model relies on revenues from advertising, and MPs and Ministers are likely to be concerned that taxpayers’ money is currently funding a site that publishes fake news stories.


Note: The HMPPS adverts were found on The Canary website using an ‘incognito’ browser, meaning they aren’t based on previous internet history. While the advert won’t have been directly placed with The Canary by HMPPS, they are able to notify the Ad company which sites they want their adverts to appear on and specify ones they want to avoid.

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