Daily Mail: Government 'buried bad news' with 400 'embarrassing' announcements in one day

The Daily Mail has accused the Government of trying to "bury bad news just before Christmas" by making more than 400 "embarrassing" announcements in one day, including what it calls a failure to curb the use of "spin doctors".

The Daily Mail this morning pointed the finger at ministers who it said were trying to "hide U-turns, tax rises and awkward reports" by making a huge number of announcements while the media focus was on David Cameron’s EU negotiations.

These include the Home Office "losing track" of more than 10,000 asylum seekers, confirming that councils will be able to increase council tax, and approving new fracking operations in 159 new areas.

It called the approach "shameful" and one that echoed the tactics of "notorious Labour spin doctor Jo Moore", who called the 9/11 attacks a "good day" to bury bad news.

The story makes special mention of the Government apparently increasing the number of special advisers (or spads), who it referred to as "spin doctors". It said ministers now have a total of 96 special advisers, up from 69 at the general election. The story accuses Chancellor George Osborne of having a "spad army" of 10 advisers, up from seven in May.

PRWeek asked Number 10 for comment but received no reply at the time of publication.

However, the Daily Mail said Downing Street claimed the rash of announcements was "simply a coincidence", and that ministers "release more information on meetings with lobbyists than their predecessors".

It quotes a source saying: "It is quite normal to have a series of announcements at the end of a parliamentary session. They seem to be getting plenty of attention."

A spokesman for the Prime Minister told the newspaper: "This is a Government with a busy agenda and we are getting on with delivering it."

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