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Official Photographer to the Prime Minister

Volume 709: debated on Thursday 24 February 2022

15. What recent assessment he has made of the value for money provided by the official photographer to the Prime Minister. (905636)

It has been the case under successive Governments that civil servants and special advisers provide assistance on communications. We employ photographers to capture Government work, including that which cannot be captured by a press photographer due to its sensitive nature. Photographers are a cross-Government resource, supporting other Departments and Ministers, and play a critical role in the support of the Government’s digital communications activity and in progressing key policy areas.

Well, Mr Speaker, that was a nice try at justification, was it not? As I understand it, Downing Street employs three tax-funded photographers to chronicle the work and life of the Prime Minister, Cabinet members, and even the Prime Minister’s pets. Given the cost of living crisis and the rise in taxes for most families, is it really good value for taxpayers’ money to have three photographers for Downing Street?

It plays a key role in the support of modern Government communications on social media. With respect, I will take no lectures on spin from Labour: the Labour Government spent £2.5 billion a year on marketing and communications and 4,000 spin doctors worked in central Government and their quangos—

Order. Minister, this is about the Prime Minister and press; I do not think we need to wander around the world.