BBC journalist caught on hot mic during PM briefing, Report

BBC journalist caught on hot mic during PM briefing, Report
BBC journalist caught on hot mic during PM briefing, Report

Journalist Laura Kuenssberg’s frustration over the Prime Minster’s answer to her question was caught on air during Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing.

After asking Boris Johnson whether people could book summer holidays yet, the BBC’s political editor could be heard saying: “Er, he didn’t answer the question.”

Mr Johnson had told the conference it was “too early for people to be certain about what we will be able to do this summer” and that he hopes “to be able to say more” after February 22.

“I understand why people want to make plans now but we’re just going to have to be a little bit more patient,” he said.

This prompted frustration from the journalist, which was aired to the public as the conference moved on to the next caller.

Earlier on Wednesday, Downing Street had said booking a domestic holiday is “a choice for individuals” after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it was “too soon”.

The BBC reporter also asked the Government’s scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance if he was concerned about the new coronavirus variant found in Bristol, to which he replied that it is being monitored.

Wednesday’s press conference also brought technical difficulties for Macer Hall, the political editor of the Daily Express, who began asking his question while muted until the Prime Minister pointed out the issue.

Laura Kuenssberg was heard saying ‘he didn’t answer the question’ (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The press conference was not the first time journalists have been caught out with technical difficulties, as in March last year Robert Peston appeared to utter an expletive before he asked a question at the daily briefing.

The ITV political editor said his connection to the briefing was unstable and appeared to say “Oh shit” when Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak called on him to ask his question.

Afterwards, Peston retweeted a clip of the moment, and said: “Just to clear up any misunderstanding, screen froze at precisely the moment chancellor turned to me!”

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