Boris Johnson to make first appearance in £2.6m media briefing room
The New European
- Credit: PA
The prime minister will make his debut appearance in Downing Street’s newly-completed White House-style briefing room next week when he leads a coronavirus press briefing.
Downing Street has confirmed that work on its media room in No 9 had cost £2.6 million to install is finished.
Labour previously branded the hi-tech refurbishment a “vanity project”.
The briefing room will host future government coronavirus press briefings as of Monday, when Boris Johnson addresses the nation about the next stage of lockdown easing.
On March 29, further restrictions will be lifted, with the “stay home” guidance removed and limited contact between different households permitted, along with many outdoor activities and sports.
The prime minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “Work on the briefing room in No 9 Downing Street is now complete, so going forward all future coronavirus press conferences will take place over in No 9.
“They will begin on Monday when the prime minister does a press conference in there.”
- 1 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 2 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 3 Brexit stripped me of my Britishness
- 4 What I learned by avoiding England and the Euros
- 5 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
- 6 What IS the liberal response to the migrant crisis?
- 7 The Tories have already lost the culture wars
- 8 Boris Johnson enjoys splendid isolation
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 It's now clear what sovereignty means
Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said the government still planned to go ahead with daily televised briefings – the concept that was the main driver behind creating the new media space.
The launch of the televised briefings had been anticipated as early as the autumn, but in January No 10 said they were being delayed as ministers planned to hold regular press conferences during the lockdown.
Lobby correspondents, the political reporters based in parliament, currently have daily briefings with the prime minister’s official spokesman, or his deputy – both civil servants.
But under proposals set out in July, an afternoon session will be filmed at 9 Downing Street, led by Stratton.
As a politically appointed special adviser, rather than an impartial civil servant, she will be able to take aim at opponents as well as defend the government’s actions.
Stratton said: “Yes, we are (intending to go ahead with the televised briefings) but we just don’t know yet when.
“It is all about hitting milestones in the road map.”
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.