Journalist lands photo of Boris Johnson despite press secretary’s refusal
A regional reporter landed a photo with Boris Johnson during a ‘bizarre’ meeting with the Prime Minister – despite his press secretary insisting it wouldn’t be possible.
Mr Johnson also shouted what appeared to be praise for ‘Kent’s journalism’ when he met reporters on a visit to the county.
Kent Online digital optimization editor Oliver Kemp was among reporters on a visit by the Prime Minister to a vaccination center in Ramsgate last week.
In a first-person article on his experience, Oliver revealed that a press secretary initially told him that he would not be allowed to take a photo of the Prime Minister interacting with staff at the center.
Rather, the assembled reporters were kept in one room for half an hour before being taken to another area for a five-minute group interview.
Oliver wrote: “There was an intense air of directing to the whole experience.
“Instead of allowing reporters to see Mr Johnson interacting with people – surely that’s why these ‘events’ are being held in the first place – I had to take a member of his team at face value. he actually interacted with the audience. “
“But before Mr Johnson rushed out the open door and back to Downing Street, we asked one last time if we could get a photo. ‘Sure!’ he exclaimed, then asked if we wanted a photo with him too. Kind of like a selfie, I guess.
“Standing in line as a member of his staff took the photos, Mr Johnson threw his hands up and shouted ‘Kent journalism! “, before muttering something that I couldn’t catch through his face mask.
“He thanked us and left 30 seconds later.
“It is understandable in many ways that these events are being meticulously managed – let’s not forget that the interviewee in question has one of the most important jobs in the world.
“But it is questionable whether the intense staging, the inability to take pictures and the speed of the interview stemmed from a series of embarrassing and difficult moments for the Prime Minister.”
Speaking to HTFP, Oliver described the encounter as a “pretty bizarre experience.”
He said: “When you are invited to a press event by the Prime Minister’s communications team, you expect a certain level of access, no matter how small.
“But telling us we weren’t even able to get a few pictures of him meeting and greeting before a rushed five-minute interview made it all a little pointless.
“Rather frustrating, they allowed a major broadcaster to follow it and share the footage with other broadcasters, but no such invitation was sent to us.”
HTFP has contacted Downing Street for comment on the issues Oliver raised.