During Wednesday’s briefing, the political editor asked: “Should members of the public be booking summer holidays or not, whether at home or abroad? The transport secretary this morning warned people against booking anything at all.
“And Sir Patrick [Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser], if I may, how concerned are you about the potential of the variant that has been picked up in Bristol, where there have been 14 cases in that city already, and suggestions it might be more transmissible than some of the other variants around?”
After the prime minister gave a rambling answer (Johnson said it was “illegal to go on holiday” now and waffled about the “roadmap” to be set out shortly), and the session moved on to the next question, Kuenssberg was taken off air.
Except she wasn’t. For a moment after Johnson finished speaking, instead of cutting to the next questioner as announced, Kuenssberg’s mic was switched back on, and she was heard muttering: “Urgh, he didn’t answer the question there.”
It’s not the first time a senior political editor has been caught in an unguarded moment during a No.10 press conference.
In March last year, the ITV’s political editor Robert Peston was heard saying “oh shit” while wrestling with new-fangled technology.