Political editors interview the Prime Minister in quick succession

I’ve been meaning to write about this for days. Just busy with other stuff.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister addressed Parliament about his draft deal with the EU. Following this he was quizzed about it in interviews with senior political editors – Laura Kuenssberg – BBC News, Robert Peston – ITV News, and Faisal Islam – Sky News.

In each of the interviews David Cameron’s demeanour didn’t change – very impressive. The things I noticed about the interviews were not, particularly, the questions or answers, but these,

  • Robert Pestonit was a new interview location in my view, though still somewhere most probably in No.10 Downing Street.
  • the interview location apparently seemed to be a poky corner, although well lit. It positioned the political editors and David Cameron in very close proximity, unusually so in my view again.
  • the location and closeness must surely have been designed by the No 10 communications team. It’d be interesting to know of their thinking and the perceived advantage accruing to the PM of the location and setting.
  • now to the three interviews by the political editors. It was coincidence that meant me seeing the three interviews in quick succession.
  • all the political editors sat back in their chairs, while Cameron leaned forward. Now Cameron’s forward lean indicated a positive interest in the questions. And yet, I think I observed Cameron lean further forward to Laura Kuenssberg, which is a sign of aggression. At one point in Laura’s questioning she pressed Cameron, who leaned even further forward saying, ‘well, that’s the answer you’re going to get’.
  • Laura Kuenssberg was the sharpest questioner,
  • Faisal Islam tried hard, with no more success than Kuenssberg
  • Robert Peston’s interview wasn’t to my liking, his questioning being laborious, verging on the irritating. Cameron impressively showed not the slightest irritation, and I looked hard at his expression.
  • I didn’t see Channel 4 political editor Gary Gibbon’s interview, and it’s not online, although his blog post is HERE.

Result: Cameron and his comms team would be well satisfied with his performance. I wonder if we’ll see the same location used again. Perhaps not, as I think the political editors were under pressure to get an interview with the PM. On other occasions they’ll not be so pliant, methinks.

I wonder if the conversation with Samantha Cameron later that evening wouldn’t be about how the day went but more about Ed Balls’ performance on Celebrity Great British Bake Off.

I leave it to you to judge on the relative performance of the three political editors. I only listened to short parts of each interview. Well done to you if you saw through all three.

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