Downing St shuts down PM's email

An avatar of Peter Mandelson
An avatar of Peter Mandelson

By staff

The prime minister has been accused of cutting himself off from the electorate after it emerged Downing Street removed a link allowing members of the public to email him from the website.

The Downing Street website now only reveals a postal address and fax number.

"We have decided at this time that it is important to take another look at the 'Email Number 10' service to ensure that it meets the same high standards as the other content and communication measures that the website delivers."

Coming after it was revealed the government spent £12,000 a year on having a presence in virtual reality world Second Life, the move quickly led to Conservatives mocking the prime minister.

"Gordon Brown is spending taxpayers' money on the latest digital gimmicks, from Twitter to Flickr, but can't be bothered to give out a simple email address," said Shadow cabinet office minister Francis Maude.

"The beleaguered prime minister is literally retreating to his Downing Street bunker, cutting himself off from an angry and disillusioned electorate."

Downing Street has a £527,000-a-year digital communications unit, while the government is recruiting a £160,000-a-year director of digital engagement.


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