David Cameron has apologised to a regional daily whose journalists had accused his entourage of treating them with “disdain,” after finally agreeing to a ten-minute interview with the paper.
As reported on HTFP earlier this month, Huddersfield Daily Examiner local government reporter Joanne Douglas was held in a room with other regional journalists for over an hour before being given just one minute with the PM, while photographer Andrew Catchpool was prevented from taking a picture of Mr Cameron during a factory tour.
However during a second campaign visit to the area yesterday, Mr Cameron said sorry for the past incident and gave Joanne a ten-minute sit-down interview, pictured below.
The PM blamed the previous episode, which led to accusations that the regional press was being ignored in the campaign, on an “administrative muck-up.”
Mr Cameron told Joanne: “I think there was an administrative muck up that’s our fault. My apologies and it won’t happen again.
“I always want to try and give local journalists a fair chance to ask questions and see what we’re up to.”
Andrew Hirst, head of content at the Examiner, said: “We’re grateful Mr Cameron made the time to talk to Joanne this time and the interview covered both local and national issues.
“These political visits are surely all about getting a message across to local voters so the last place the press officers need journalists to be is stuck away in a room.
“It’s my understanding they have learned from what happened to us before and both local and regional media are now getting better access to high profile Conservative figures.”
The Milton Keynes Citizen has also previously attacked a “Big Brother-style” media accreditation policy announced by the Conservatives prior to the campaign.
However, in an interview with the Teesside Gazette last week, Mr Cameron gave his opinion on six issues raised in a readers’ manifesto.