Media briefing room costs

should 9 downing street be a media briefing room
should 9 downing street be a media briefing room

Today’s ‘debate of the day’ is taking a look at the Downing Street Media Briefing Room.

This was initially part of a pre-Brexit project, the aim of making press briefings more public and allowing the story to move away from Brexit, without dragging the PM into every conference.

It would let the press spokesperson discuss the boring issues, the big issues and future plans without the PM being attached, save him for the good stuff. The project seemed a little Trump-esque but it never got off the ground.

There were delays in the hiring and getting the room ready. The spokeswoman Allegra Stratton, expected to be on television every day still hasn’t had a day in front of the cameras.

A recent FOI from the Press Association has shown that the revamp of No9 Downing Street has so far cost £2,607,767.67…Yep that’s in the millions!

We know Grade One buildings take a lot of serious planning and can be difficult to work with, No9 Downing Street is an old court room… But this one hasn’t gone down well with the journalists, many spending less than £100,000 for their own TV studios, which will have a lot more tech!

So it’s over to you guys – was too much spent on this briefing room?

Pros:

Every day British people will receive a televised update with the only spin coming from the Government, not the media.

The work is a one-off cost and will last generations

It will allow the world’s media an easier way into Downing Street (it’s very rare that phones/cameras are allowed inside)

The move will make it easier for many more televised events from the centre of Government, bringing transparency

The Government were not afraid to post the cost, recognising it is a lot but not trying to hide it.

Cons:

The cost is insane with over £33k spent for broadband equipment alone.

The press secretary is a new role earning at least £100k herself

The funding could have been better spent elsewhere (nurses payrise?)

It’s destroying a beautiful Grade One building in the centre of London

There’s many other spaces which could have been used, much cheaper.

So it’s over to you guys, has the Prime Minister and team been ripped off by overly expensive projects? Is this a big vanity project of their own? Or will it change how political figures and the media interact. We have already seen from the Covid19 conferences how fixated the media can be on certain aspects, ignoring other questions and concerns the public may have – allowing a much more open and daily press conference may change this and give more people, better understanding of what the Government is doing.

Share your thoughts in our forums – is the spending too much? too little? just right?


About Swing Debates 175 Articles
Swing Debates: Discuss, debate and learn about British politics. Bringing you news, gossip, education and fun stuff from the heart of Westminster. From issues hitting MPs desks, to campaign groups, politico fashion and podcast reviews, we want to open up the mysteries of British politics to everyone. So join our community today! Get involved in our democracy!