Downing Street accused of currying favour with journalists through Twitter exclusives
The government’s communications team have been accused of currying favour amidst a select band of journalists through Twitter tip-off’s on breaking news prior to their official announcement.
So called ‘Twitter exclusives’ form a key plank of No 10’s media strategy to secure favourable press, much to the anger of critics who say such pronouncements should be the sole preserve of Parliament.
Craig Oliver, the prime ministers communications director, is accused of masterminding this tactic, in addition to harnessing the social media site to attempt to quash negative news stories before they spread.
An unnamed source at No.10 told the guardian: “Every minute that passes the poison is spreading into the system to all sorts of roots and you need to find a way to cauterize that very, very quickly.”
Commenting on their social media strategy Anthony Simon, the head of digital communications in the prime minister's office, added: “We're getting to where people are these days."
"Increasing numbers of people are on Twitter – journalists, stakeholders and professional groups – and to be part of that conversation is vital for any government department. It's democratic because it's open to anyone and we don't go on it for the sake of it or over-rely on it – it's a means to an end."