The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a unique capacity to “get away with things that mere mortals can’t seem to,” Johnson’s predecessor David Cameron said.
In a film by Sky News’ editor-at-large Adam Boulton, ‘Feral Beasts. Prime ministers and the media’, Cameron was reminded that while he was prime minister, he tried to hire his own official photographer, but the request was denied. Asked by Boulton what he thinks of Johnson hiring a team of photographers, Cameron said: “Well, Boris has always been able to get away with things that mere mortals can’t seem to.”
He went on to blame Johnson for trying “You can bypass the media” saying that it is important to speak to the journalists directly, whether in interviews or during media events.
“It was something I have done all my life. While the press conferences are not very common, I did attend them all the time and was always available to answer questions. You see, we were eager to talk and answered questions.” Cameron claimed.
However, Cameron, as well as his predecessor Gordon Brown and then later Boris Johnson, have been criticized for their attempts to avoid scrutiny by the press – something that Boulton explores in his film. Film describes events that preceded the invasion of Iraq as pivotal in the relationship between Britain and the media. Many journalists felt betrayed by Tony Blair’s cabinet and were manipulated.
The last few months saw Johnson, a former journalist himself, actively scrutinized by the press not only for Brexit and anti-Covid policies, but also for several other matters, including an impressive bill for the luxury redecoration of his apartment, initially covered by a Tory donor, and last year’s Downing Street Christmas party that allegedly took place during lockdown.
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