Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Dan Bloom

PMQs: Boris Johnson claims he 'loves journalism' as press crackdown compared to Trump

Cornered Boris Johnson today claimed he "loves journalism" as his Director of Communications' behaviour to the press was compared to the work of Donald Trump.

The Tory leader was blasted by Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP at Prime Minister's Questions after reporters

Around a dozen journalists had received an invitation to attend a Downing Street briefing with David Frost, Boris Johnson's Europe advisor, on the PM's post-Brexit trade plans on Monday.

But when political editors from other publications, including the Mirror, also turned up they were told to stand on a different side of the hallway. No10 head of communications Lee Cain arrived and told reporters: "Those who are invited to the briefing can stay, everyone else I'm afraid will have to leave."

Jeremy Corbyn said today it was "no wonder the Prime Minister is shutting newspapers out of Number 10" as he highlighted criticism of his Government.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford added: "In the first few days of Brexit Britain this Prime Minister has sacked an official, taken an isolationist approach to trade, and banned the press from a Downing Street briefing.

"Is he intentionally trying to impersonate Donald Trump?"

But Boris Johnson- who was once sacked from a reporting job at The Times for making up a quote - told PMQs he loved the press.

Saying Labour had blamed the media for the party's disastrous election campaign, he said: "I don't blame them - I'm a journalist, I love journalism, and I think the people of this country don't blame the media.

"They can see the media do their best to represent the reality."

Earlier Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan urged No10 comms chief Mr Cain to sit down personally with journalists and "work this out".

She said: "I don't think it serves anybody for this as a debate to be continuing.

"And I hope very much that the best thing would be for the co-chairs for the press lobby here in Westminster to sit down with the director of communications and to work this out.

She denied that the move was carried out with an Orwellian intent - a reference to a fictional totalitarian state from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The UK's top civil servant was yesterday urged to investigate the "deeply disturbing" decision to order senior journalists from some of the UK's major news organisations - including the Daily Mirror - to leave before a civil service briefing on Boris Johnson's Brexit plans.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill was told the situation was "damaging to democracy" by Labour leadership hopeful Sir Keir Starmer, who wrote the letter.

Sir Keir warned "banning" parts of the media risked undermining the integrity of the civil service - and access to the UK's chief negotiator "should not be determined by political favouritism".

Those banned from the briefing, in a move reminiscent of Donald Trump's administration which has tried to exclude journalists from critical organisations, included The Daily Mirror, The i, Huffington Post and the Independent.

Mr Johnson's head of communications Lee Cain arrived and told reporters: "Those who are invited to the briefing can stay, everyone else I'm afraid will have to leave."

He added: "We're welcome to brief whoever we like."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.