Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (or PMOS) is a civil servant charged with presenting the Prime Minister and the Government to the media in the best light possible, whilst also maintaining the independence and objectivity of the Civil Service.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson is responsible for briefing the press and broadcast journalists most weekdays when Parliament is sitting.  They provide journalists with the Prime Minister’s line on current events, as well as advance notice of government announcements due that day. Towards the end of the week, a briefing is given for correspondents from the Sunday papers.

On occasion, the post of Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson has been held by a special adviser, lending a more political edge to briefings. The post can also be held by more than one civil servant. The edited content of briefings is made available to the public, although this is at the discretion of Number 10.

In 2020, the government planned to introduce a system of televised briefings where the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson was expected to talk direct to voters through the television.   This follows a similar practice in the United States of America involving the President’s Press Officer.

Plans in this regard were though altered in early 2021, and the then Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson, Allegra Stratton, was moved to an alternative role, responsible for fronting media at the COP26.