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Downing Street Press Secretary


Downing Street Press Secretary

The Downing Street Press Secretary is an advisor to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on news media and how to manage the image of the British government to the press. The position is part of the Prime Minister's Office and involves using information on what is happening in the UK and around the world, to decide on how the Prime Minister should present his or her reaction to the media. The incumbent also advises on how to handle news stories and other information which could affect the current Prime Minister or the Ministry.


  • Role 1
  • History 2
  • List of press secretaries 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Press Secretary, along with the Prime Minister's Spokesman will address the lobby correspondents at 10 Downing Street to give journalists information on events attended by the Prime Minister, as well as current affairs in Downing Street and in Parliament.[1] The Press Secretary works within the Prime Minister's Office and the Downing Street Press Office.


Various political advisers have in the past acted in a press secretary role; Francis Williams, a journalist who had served in the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, served under Clement Attlee,[2] as 'Adviser on Public Relations'.[3] Winston Churchill shunned the role, and did not appoint anyone to the role until several months into his premiership, when he hired Fife Clark.[3] In 1997 Alastair Campbell was appointed by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. When David Cameron was elected, Gabby Bertin who had previously served as the head of press for the Conservative Party became the Downing Street Press Secretary.[4] She was later replaced by Susie Squire in 2012.[5] In 2013, Graeme Wilson was appointed as the current Press Secretary.[6]

List of press secretaries

Position holder Years Prime Minister
Francis Williams 1945 – 1947 Clement Attlee[2]
Philip Jordan 1947 – 1951
Reginald Bacon 1951
Fife Clark 1952 – 1955 Winston Churchill[2]
William D. Clark 1955 – 1956 Anthony Eden[2]
Alfred Richardson 1956 – 1957
Harold Evans 1957 – 1963 Harold Macmillan[7]
John Groves 1963 – 1964 Alec Douglas-Home[8]
Trevor Lloyd-Hughes 1964 – 1969 Harold Wilson[8]
Joe Haines 1969 – 1970
Donald Maitland[8] 1970 – 1973 Edward Heath
Robin Haydon[9] 1973 – 1974
Joe Haines 1974 – 1976 Harold Wilson
Tom McCaffrey 1976 – 1979 James Callaghan[10]
Henry James[9] 1979 Margaret Thatcher
Bernard Ingham 1979 – 1990
Gus O'Donnell[11] 1990 – 1993 John Major
Christopher Meyer[2] 1993 – 1996
Jonathan Haslam[12] 1996 – 1997
Alastair Campbell 1997 – 2001 Tony Blair[3]
Godric Smith 2001 – 2003
Tom Kelly
Damian McBride 2007 – 2009 Gordon Brown[13]
Gabby Bertin 2010 – 2012 David Cameron
Susie Squire 2012 – 2013
Graeme Wilson 2013 – present

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Prime Minister's Office: press briefings
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