U.K.’s Johnson Nixes Plans for White House-Style TV Briefings


U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has abandoned plans for White House-style televised press briefings, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The government was criticized for spending more than 2.6 million pounds ($3.6 million) on a revamp of Number 9 Downing Street so that Johnson’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton could field questions from journalists on camera.

But Stratton has now been appointed as Johnson’s spokeswoman for the UN climate summit, known as COP26, which is being held in the U.K. later this year, the person confirmed Tuesday.

The U-turn means the briefing room will instead be used by Johnson, ministers and officials. It is already in use for regular coronavirus press conferences.

Meanwhile Johnson’s office announced that Conservative MP Johnny Mercer resigned as a defense minister Tuesday.

Mercer said on Twitter he had been forced to quit after voicing his unhappiness about British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland being excluded from government legislation aimed at protecting veterans from “endless re-investigations.”

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