Rishi Sunak bans ministers from appearing on breakfast TV and radio shows every day
- Rishi Sunak is set to scrap the government’s daily media round, reports say
- One frontbencher previously expected to make an appearance every day
- Move was met with criticism from some members of the public and journalists
Rishi Sunak has scrapped the government’s daily media round, with ministers no longer expected to appear in broadcasters’ hot seats each morning.
One frontbencher had previously been expected to make an appearance on shows like Good Morning Britain and BBC R4’s Today programme every weekday morning.
But now No10 is expected to provide a minister to be grilled by journalists just three days a week, or when there is an announcement, the Mirror has learned.
A Tory source told the newspaper that the government would be ‘flexible’ in putting ministers on the airwaves when ‘the public need to hear from government’.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appearing on BBC Breakfast while Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2020
The move was met with criticism from MPs, members of the public and journalists, some of whom questioned how it reflected Sunak’s promise that his government would have ‘accountability at every level’.
Labour MP Steve Reed wrote: ‘Looks like Sunak’s commitment to accountability has gone the same way as his commitment to integrity and professionalism’ alongside a bin emoji.
Meanwhile, Good Morning Britain journalist Susanna Reid wrote ‘this would be a huge mistake’. Her breakfast show faced an extended boycott by ministers during the pandemic following intense questioning from Reid and co-host Piers Morgan.
Good Morning Britain journalist Susanna Reid wrote ‘this would be a huge mistake’. Her breakfast show faced an extended boycott by ministers during the pandemic
The government’s latest decision comes after a turbulent first month in office for the Prime Minister, with with three of his top ministers facing tough questioning since their appointments.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is set to be investigated over bullying allegations, with two formal complaints from staff during his tenure as Minister of Justice coming to light.
Prior to the allegations about Raab emerging, Cabinet Office Minister Gavin Williamson was forced to resign over a formal complaint that alleged he had told a former civil servant to ‘slit your throat’.
Sunak has also come under fire for re-hiring Suella Braverman as Home Secretary, just six days after she was sacked from the job in Liz Truss’s government for sending emails from her personal account.
BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme did not have a minister on for the daily media round for three months (Pictured: presenter Amol Rajan)
It is not the first time the government has stopped ministers from appearing on morning TV and radio shows.
BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme did not have a minister on for the daily media round for three months after Boris Johnson’s government boycotted it due to its election coverage.
A government source told the told the Mail on Sunday at the time that the show only interviewed ‘a pro-Remain metropolitan bubble in Islington’.
‘The Today programme is irrelevant, it is not a serious programme any more so we are not going to engage with it – it is far better for us to put people up on BBC Breakfast and Five Live,’ they said.
The show’s editor accused Downing Street of ‘Trumpian’ tactics in reference to the former US president’s feuds with the mainstream media.