Last year Downing Street revealed plans for daily televised press briefings featuring his new press secretary, Allegra Stratton, to be held at a former colonial courtroom at 9 Downing Street. The idea of White House-style briefings was ostensibly the brainchild of the UK Prime Minister’s former senior adviser Lee Cain.
White House-style televised press briefings that were touted by Boris Johnson last year as providing the nation with “more direct, detailed information from the Government about what is going on” have been scrapped before getting off the ground, reported The Times.
Complete with new oak lecterns, Tory blue screens, microphones and an array of Union Jacks, the £2.6 million upgraded former colonial courthouse at No 9 Downing Street will instead be used by the Prime Minister, politicians and various officials to host press conferences.
Johnson reportedly axed the long-nurtured plans amid concerns about the “political risk” involved, as the briefings might provide “oxygen” to “difficult” stories for ministers, according to the outlet.
Allegra Stratton, the PM’s press secretary, who had quit as national editor at ITV News late last year to become Rishi Sunak’s director of communications, had been tapped to lead the afternoon TV press conferences as part of Johnson’s push to embrace more direct communication with voters.