Top Tory uses conference speech to promise end to 'cynical' media briefings

Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve used his speech to this year's Conservative Party conference to rail against government 'spin' and to pledge an end to trailing policy in the media.

End of 'cynical' media briefings: Dominic Grieve
End of 'cynical' media briefings: Dominic Grieve

Addressing delegates on Wednesday, Grieve said that he would abolish the 'cynical' practice of briefing journalists ahead of official announcements.

He told delegates: ‘I'll make this personal commitment to you today: If I'm appointed Justice Secretary in the next Conservative administration I will end Jack Straw's serial, selective and cynical trailing of government policy in the media.

‘The first place that I will announce any new policy will be in the House of Commons. So it's not distorted, it's debated. So the public get the whole truth not selective snippets.

‘Because the Justice Secretary should be the first person not the last to respect the role of the House of Commons in holding any government to account.'

Grive used the word ‘spin' on three occasions as he delivered his address.

He also promised he would make crime figures ‘completely independent' of government, so the figures could not be repackaged by ministers for political purposes.

He said: ‘What I'm talking about is no pre-release access for ministers or officials, let alone special advisers.'

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