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Government drops White House TV briefings – after £ 2.6million for new studio | Political news

It was an idea that was ridiculed from the start. And now Downing Street has confirmed plans for White House press conferences have been scrapped.

The number 10 press officer, Allegra Stratton, a former Guardian and television journalist hired to host the briefings in front of the camera, will instead become the spokesperson for the COP-26 summit on climate change.

And the new bespoke media suite, which got a facelift at £ 2.6million for Ms Stratton’s briefings, will now be used for press conferences by the Prime Minister and other top ministers.

Opposition MPs have already stepped up their claims that the expensive hall renovation at 9 Downing Street was a waste of taxpayer money on a Boris Johnson vanity project.

Allegra Stratton, the face of the new daily Downing Street TV news briefs, enters 10 Downing Street, London, the day after Lee Cain announces her resignation as Downing Street communications director and will step down. at the end of the year.
Former reporter Allegra Stratton had been hired to lead the briefings – but will now focus on the COP-26 summit

Deputy Labor leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson is clearly afraid of the scrutiny and questions about the torys and questionable lobbying.

“Instead of wasting millions of pounds of taxpayer money on an unnecessary vanity project, the Prime Minister should have used that money to give our NHS heroes a pay raise.”

And former Labor minister John Spellar tweeted of Ms Stratton: “She didn’t last long, then. Going down in a real Whitehall farce.”

Announcing the U-turn and her new job, Ms Stratton – who earns £ 125,000 a year – said in a statement issued by Number 10: “I am delighted to be starting in this new role.

“The COP-26 climate conference is a unique opportunity to create a cleaner and greener world and I look forward to working with the Prime Minister and Alok Sharma to ensure its success.”

When the new press officer position was announced last July, to some it must have looked like the job opportunity of a lifetime, but to others it was still a poisoned chalice. .

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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 18:44:00