Boris Johnson’s coronavirus press conferences will from next week no longer take place in No.10 Downing Street and will switch to a £2.6m briefing room nearby, his spokesperson has revealed.
Johnson will on Monday hold his first briefing in the new venue in No.9 Downing Street, which has been refurbished to create a White House-style facility for live televised events.
The switch signals the end of an era for coronavirus press conferences, which have taken place in the wood-panelled State Dining Room of No.10 since the pandemic began last year.
Although the PM will appear in person alongside officials, the media briefings will continue to take place remotely via video link with journalists not allowed into the building until Covid restrictions are lifted in coming weeks.
“Work on the briefing room in No.9 Downing Street is now complete. So going forward, all future coronavirus press conferences will take place in No.9 Downing Street, and they will begin on Monday, when the Prime Minister does a press conference,” his spokesperson said.
Once the coronavirus briefings end, they will be replaced by US-style media conferences hosted by Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton.
It has taken six months and £2.6m to refurbish and adapt the No.9 Downing Street venue, which features a podium and a Union Flag backdrop.