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The previous ITV journalist Allegra Stratton is ready to be appointed Boris Johnson’s new press secretary and entrance the White Home-style televised press briefings.
The 39-year-old left the media to turn into the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s director of strategic communications earlier this 12 months, and was the new favorite to tackle the high-profile function.
A authorities supply confirmed the transfer to broadcasters however Downing Avenue is but to formally remark.
Quantity 10 started a seek for someone to answer daily questions on the Prime Minister’s behalf again in July.
It’s believed they needed to capitalise on the curiosity generated by the every day coronavirus briefings and speak directly to the public and bypass journalists.
Presently the briefings for foyer reporters in Westminster with the PM’s official spokesman, who’s a impartial civil servant, happen behind closed doorways.
This new function is a political one chosen by the Conservatives, permitting them extra latitude to criticise the opposition and provides solutions primarily based on get together strains.
The printed job specification mentioned whoever takes the place will “talk with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister”, turn into “a trusted political adviser” and “a member of the senior crew at Downing Avenue”.
The wage on provide is believed to be round £100,000, however the official advert solely says it’s “to be decided primarily based on expertise”.
It was reported that an experienced broadcaster was wanted for the role, with Mr Johnson mentioned to have steered BBC London’s Riz Lateef, and Sky Information’ Sophy Ridge was additionally linked with it.
However Ms Stratton, who’s married to the Spectator journal’s political editor James Forsyth, was at all times seen because the more than likely selection having already made the leap from journalism to authorities communications.
Beginning her profession on the BBC, she then labored for the Instances, the Impartial and the New Statesman earlier than turning into a political correspondent on the Guardian.
She additionally wrote the e book Muhajababes in 2006, concerning the subsequent era of younger individuals within the Center East, then moved again to the BBC in 2012 as Newsnight’s political editor, then on to ITV Information as nationwide editor in 2015, and was a co-presenter of Peston on Sunday.
In April she left to hitch the newly-appointed Chancellor, and has been credited with serving to craft Mr Sunak’s picture as he received plaudits for his response to the coronavirus disaster.