Can you have a big political relaunch without a big political press conference? This is a question that troubled a few minds in Downing St. So far, we’ve seen a housing package, the leaked outlines of an energy plan, and a pamphlet telling us that Gordon Brown means business. But the most obvious publicity vehicle – a press conference – has been carefully avoided. In spite of the importance of this “autumn relaunch”, the prime minister has kept a relatively low profile. Media appearances have been tightly controlled, short, and devoid of tough questions. You have to wonder why.
This is certainly a break with the past. In his first few months in office, Mr Brown often opted to face adversity by facing the press in Downing St (think back to the data loss, Northern Rock, 10p). Now, I’m told, his attitude has changed. A scheduled “monthly” press conference was recently unscheduled, at his behest. Read more