Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s communications director Allegra Stratton is to become Boris Johnson’s spokeswoman for televised briefings, a Government source has revealed.
The Prime Minister has been seeking an adviser to give on-the-record White House-style briefings to the press to take place on camera.
Ms Stratton has a rich history in broadcast journalism, having been national editor of ITV News, political editor on BBC Newsnight and having co-presented ITV’s Peston On Sunday.
In July, No 10 began the search for someone to “communicate with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister”.
As opposed to an impartial civil servant, the politically-appointed special adviser will be able to take aim at opponents and defend the Government’s actions.
And unlike other influential figures in Downing Street, such as Mr Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings and communications director Lee Cain, the spokeswoman will operate in the public eye.
Ms Stratton, whose newspaper roles have included political correspondent at The Guardian, only left ITV to join the Chancellor’s team in April.
But she has long been a favourite for the new role with No 10, with Downing Street having been impressed by her abilities.
Ministers are expected to appear alongside her at times.
The political reporters based in Parliament – known as the lobby – currently have twice daily briefings with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, or his deputy. They are both civil servants.
The briefings are on the record, so journalists can quote them, but they are not broadcast.
However, under proposals set out earlier this year, Ms Stratton will face the cameras at 9 Downing Street during afternoon sessions.