Tom’s already provided a run-down on the web coverage of today’s Mayoral press conference, but I was delighted to see that even the mainstream TV media are making their unimpressed feelings known about Boris’s pathetic press conference plans.

This is the man who was elected on a promise to improve accountability and transparency. He was also elected in a ruthlessly managed campaign which limited media access to him throughout.

It seems the reality of his campaign is what’s being carried into his Mayoralty, not the empty promises on accountability.

The previous Mayor held a press conference every week, and stood at his podium taking and answering questions for as long as it took for the journalists to run out of things to ask. Dave Hill would have had all ten of his list answered under Ken, but under Boris I think he got one; Boris will be ruthlessly cutting his press conferences off at the half-hour mark, and only holding them monthly in the first place.

Quite how this is increasing accountability and transparency, I don’t know. And neither, I’m glad to say, does Tim Donovan from BBC London, who raised this point in nearly as much detail as I just have at the end of his report about the press conference on BBC One this evening.

Let’s hope, one month into his tenure, that we’re already seeing the tide turning away from his already-generous honeymoon period in the media. Bring on the scrutiny we were promised would be encouraged! And bring on the criticism – wherever it’s deserved, of course.

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2 Responses to BBC London on Boris’s translucency

  1. Rob says:

    Is the case for an open ended session not seriously weakened when journalists used the time they did have to raise issues which were nothing to with the Mayor’s responsibilities, such as the Henley by election, 42 days pre charge detention and promoting Latin?

    I don’t see how you could plan the Mayor’s diary for the day if you didn’t have some idea of how long a press conference would last. I really think there’s no precedent at all for a single journalist being able to ask ten separate questions so I think it might be slightly fanciful to suggest that would have happened under Ken.

  2. Tory Troll says:

    Yeah that’s probably Boris’s logic as well. They only ask bloody stupid questions about how much my staff are getting paid, when will we see a cut in crime and how he is going to resolve legal problems with his appointments. Bloody stupid questions to be asking bloody important Boris. Why can’t they just make do with half an hour a month of ‘pass’ and ‘I will tell you later’?

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