Whitehouse’s UK Public Affairs Director Max Wilson has been featured in PR Week, commenting on the growing ‘partygate’ scandal surrounding No 10 and Boris Johnson, as leaked emails revealed a 100 person party was hosted in the Prime Minister’s garden in May 2020.
“No. 10 is on the back foot again and devoting its energies to firefighting instead of talking about its plan for the country.
Lessons are not being learned. Following Barnard Castle, Downing Street is still failing to follow the rules and this arrogance is cutting through. Following the steady stream of damaging party revelations last month, No. 10’s communications response continues to be to deny, misinform and only respond to the most immediate allegations instead of getting out in front of this scandal with a properly thought-out strategy. The fact no minister has been on the morning broadcast rounds reflects the indefensibility of the issue and the extreme likelihood that any line will change at a moment’s notice. Bunker comms is unsustainable.
Instead of providing the clarity and contrition that might allow the Government to move on from these scandals and set the agenda once again, Downing Street seems to hope each latest scandal is the last one. Death from 1,000 cuts, and it has resulted in reputation damage, but to whom? The Prime Minister? Downing Street? The Conservative Party as a whole?
The danger for Boris Johnson lies in voters conflating all of them. Both Conservative Party poll ratings and his personal ratings have taken a hit, but these can be ridden out with a general election not imminent. But if this dip continues, Conservative backbenchers will start to feel the heat and ask themselves hard questions.”
To read his full article in PR Week, click here.
The Whitehouse team are expert political consultants providing public relations and public affairs advice and political analysis to a wide range of clients, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union and beyond. For more information, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.