Government criticised over plans to cut broadcast appearances for ministers

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt being interviewed  (HM Treasury)
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt being interviewed (HM Treasury)

Government plans to reduce the number of interviews given by ministers on TV and radio breakfast news have been criticised by broadcasters and opposition MPs.

The reported plan would see ministers offered to broadcasters on three mornings a week and only when there was an announcement or new policy to discuss.

The daily broadcast round traditionally see ministers appearing on both BBC Breakfast and ITV’s Good Morning Britain as as well as the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

That has not been set in stone though with ministers snubbing Today at one point while Good Morning Britain faced a boycott over seven months said to have been in response to criticism voiced by then presenter Piers Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid over the handing of the pandemic.

Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid (ITV)
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid (ITV)

It was reported today that Downing Street is planned a “flexible” approach to interviews with sources rejecting the idea it amounts to the same as axing the broadcast round.

Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reed said it showed the Prime Minister was rowing back on his “commitment to accountability”.

Meanwhile Reid, who still co-hosts the early morning ITV show, said it would be a “huge mistake”.