Guido Wins: Televised Lobby Briefings Coming

Guido has won a big victory against the Lobby today, breaking open the Lobby’s preferred closed-style of briefings from Downing Street. The Government will televise the afternoon briefing sessions with journalists from No. 9:

“Afternoon Lobby sessions with journalists will be televised from Downing Street. Officials have also been told of plans to dramatically reduce the government’s communications operation

Boris Johnson has clearly listened to the argument for “a culture of transparency and openness’’ in Westminster by backing the broadcasting of the afternoon press briefings and reducing the number of spin doctors across Whitehall. After the success of the televised Covid briefings, Lee Cain plans to continue the on-camera afternoon government briefings. The role will be filled by a political appointee…

Expect an experienced broadcaster to get the job. No 9 Downing Street – where off-camera press briefings are currently held – will be turned into a modern media studio for briefings. A Downing Street source says: “For too long we’ve been running an analogue system in a digital age. People want to hear directly what the government is doing and to see it being held to account…”

The whole of government communications is being overhauled by Alex Aiken, the Executive Director for Government Communications – it will see departments ordered to reduce the 4,000 spin doctors employed by the government. Aiken and Cain believe the changes will lead to smaller, more agile communications operation. Officials have also been told of plans to plans to drastically reduce the government’s communications operation and the number of press officers across Whitehall. Guido’s happy that a decade-long campaign for government briefings unfiltered by Lobby journalists has finally been won…

See Guido’s case for televising the briefings: Live Stream the ‘People’s Briefings’ from Downing Street

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