Media Briefings

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Bim Afolami: Will the Minister confirm two things for the House—first, that the Government will of course look at making sure that briefings are done in a sensible way, with the agreement of all members of the lobby over the longer term; and secondly, that this Government and, indeed, this House should always be committed to there being no political interference in our media, because that is a foundation of our democracy?

Chloe Smith: My hon. Friend is right on that point. As I have said, the Government are upholders of freedom and accessibility for Government briefings. We take it as a matter of pride that we are an extremely open Government, ensuring that there are briefings available across a range of channels. As I have already said, what has been happening recently, and the subject of today’s question, is in fact the perfectly normal operation of the lobby: twice daily briefings and, in addition to that, the offer of further specialist briefings. There is clearly the ability to hold the Government to account, and that is how we intend to continue to work.

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