Downing Street scraps weekend press conferences
The daily Downing Street press conferences will no longer take place at weekends when viewing figures are “significantly lower”, Number 10 has said.
Briefings have been held on all but two days since 16 March, but the government has decided to scrap them on Saturdays and Sundays from this week.
Boris Johnson, who has appeared at 12 press conferences so far, will lead at least one briefing a week from now on, alongside scientific and medical experts.
The prime minister’s official spokesperson told a Westminster briefing: “From this week, the press conferences will be on weekdays only, so no longer on Saturdays and Sundays.
“The PM will take a press conference every week alongside… the scientific and medical experts.
“Others will be led by secretaries of state, alongside scientific and medical experts where relevant.”
Asked why the change was being made, the spokesperson said: “It is just a fact that the numbers who are viewing at weekends do tend to be significantly lower.”
Number 10 insisted the government was “absolutely committed to keeping people updated”.
US president Donald Trump is known to care about his TV viewing figures, boasting in April that his White House news conference ratings are “through the roof”.
He has since stopped holding the briefings after saying they were “not worth” the time and effort.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has led the most Downing Street press conferences so far, totalling 17 as of Tuesday, while foreign secretary Dominic Raab has taken 11.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.